Recalled or Defective Airbags
With so many drivers taking to the roadways across the country, it is important to consider different ways to optimize highway safety. This includes ensuring that all the moving parts of a vehicle are in working order and not at risk for defect or failure in a way which can lead to dangerous, injury-causing accidents.
Unfortunately, defects or errors do happen and can often affect individual parts of a vehicle that are critical to its overall safety, even those that are not visible, like airbags.
The main function of an airbag is simple – protection. In the event of a collision, an airbag can help prevent more serious injury and may deploy from a number of areas in the vehicle, including:
- Steering wheel
- Above side windows
- Within the seat
Although airbags vary from vehicle-to-vehicle (depending on the make and model), one thing is clear – it is critical that they are in working order and free from any potential defect, including those outlined in safety recalls.
When a Recall Is Necessary
A vehicle may be recalled if its manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission (NHTSA) has determined that the vehicle or any of its equipment, including car seats, tires and air bags, are creating an unnecessary, unreasonable safety risk, or in cases where the vehicle or its parts fail to meet basic safety standards.
Typically, safety standards are compromised by some sort of defect, or an issue existing in the motor vehicle or equipment that poses a major risk to overall highway safety. Sometimes, these defects are strictly performance-based and may be easier to detect, while issues with parts like airbags may not be made clear until a collision occurs.
When a recall occurs, manufacturers are responsible for notifying those registered with the affected vehicles and are required to correct the issue through repair, replacement or refund, if necessary. In rare cases, a recall may be so severe that it can require a manufacturer to repurchase the vehicle.
Common Defects in Vehicle Airbags
Earlier this year, the NHTSA announced the most significant and complex safety recall in the country’s history after 14 different automakers recalled vehicles due to faulty frontal airbags. The airbags, which were provided by Takata, a major parts supplier, affected vehicles made in the model years 2002 through 2015 – an estimated 32 million vehicles.
These recalls focused on a common airbag defect – the airbags inflator – specifically, the danger for it to ignite or explode with explosive force.
According to the NHTSA, airbags use a propellant to inflate in the event of a collision, but when vehicles spend a great deal of time in hot, humid climates, like that of Houston and Southeast Texas, the chemical used can begin to deteriorate, causing an excessive explosion with the danger to result in serious injury.
Personal Injury Due to Defective Products
Although airbags are meant to be life-saving, a defect in the product or process can prove increasingly dangerous, especially in situations where the airbag fails to deploy, or (in the Takata case) explode.
In addition to worsening injuries caused by the collision, a defective airbag may pose risk for new injuries, including:
- Head trauma
- Spinal trauma
- Broken bones, including those around the head and face
- Cuts, bruises or abrasions due to force
In some cases, airbags or other defective parts in recalled vehicles have been known to cause severe, debilitating injuries, or even death, depending on the circumstances.
Have you or someone you know suffered personal injury due to a defective airbag or failed safety recall? If so, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim, which can help address the many financial challenges that victims often face.
Airbag Defect and Recall Attorneys in Houston, Texas
Based out of Houston, Texas, The Ammons Law Firm LLP proudly advocates on the behalf of personal injury victims, including those dealing with injuries stemming from defective airbags or airbag recalls. Our firm’s knowledge of this area of law is unparalleled, and our team of legal specialists possesses the skills, experience and resources necessary to assist clients from all over the country.
We understand that dealing with injury is never easy, especially if it has come as the result of another’s negligence. Let our airbag defect attorneys work with you to secure the justice and restitution you deserve.
We are proud to offer new clients the convenience of a free initial consultation, in order to address your claim as quickly as possible. To schedule yours, call the personal injury team at The Ammons Law Firm LLP at (713) 523-1606.