Around eight million vehicles on the roads in the United States today may have defective airbags. CNN reports that the problem with these air bags is that they can explode, causing passengers to be struck by shrapnel. Obviously, this significantly increases the risk to motorists when a collision occurs. Dozens of serious injuries have been linked to these airbag problems and four fatalities may have been caused by the exploding safety devices.
A recall has been instituted because of the defect, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unfortunately, the airbag manufacturer, Takata, does not have enough parts to replace all of the millions of defective airbags in people’s cars. The proposed solution is to disable the potentially defective airbags. Unfortunately, some safety experts are indicating that this solution could pose an even greater risk to drivers and passengers.
Airbag manufacturers and car makers have a basic obligation to the public to make sure they don’t release defective and dangerous products. They also have a duty to ensure they handle recalls and repairs in a responsible way. When manufacturers fail to fulfill the obligations to make safe products, victims can recover compensation. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can provide assistance with pursuing a claim for damages after injuries caused by a defective airbag.
Defective Airbags and Dangerous Recalls Increase Atlanta Collision Risks
Airbags serve a very important safety purpose in vehicles, helping to cushion the blow when a collision happens. Without an airbag, a driver or front-seat passenger is more likely to suffer severe facial injuries, traumatic brain injury and other traumatic injuries due to the force of an impact. This is why it is so troubling that Takata plans to simply disable defective airbags when no replacement parts are available.
Takata airbags are installed in cars by many manufacturers including BMW, Mazda, Toyota, Subaru, General Motors, Ford and Honda. The millions of people with the defective airbags may find themselves with no airbag at all if they take their vehicle in for repairs due to the recall and Takata disables the safety device.
The executive director for the Center for Auto Safety cautions that the risk from the disabled airbags could actually be worse than the chances of the airbag exploding. More people may be endangered by the disabling of the airbags since just a small percent of the Takata airbags actually explode upon impact. Drivers at least have a chance that their airbag will work to protect them (and not explode). When the airbag is disabled, there is nothing to provide that protection.
Takata needs to carefully evaluate whether disabling airbags is the best approach to take. Those who have a defective Takata airbag also need to understand their legal rights, both if they have an airbag that explodes and if the company disables their safety device and a collision and injuries subsequently occur. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can help those who have been hurt to determine if the airbag or vehicle manufacturer is to blame for damages caused by a crash.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury in a motor vehicle crash. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.