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Airbags were designed to protect you and make your car safer in case you had an accident. But in some cases, the airbag itself is injuring people more than the accident.
Due to a malfunction in the canister that inflates airbags, they are exploding and sending shrapnel flying through the air.
More than 130 people have been injured by these airborne pieces of metal — and at least 4 have died.
Airbags are pretty standard across many makes and models, and are governed by federal guidelines.
Many car manufacturers get their airbags from the same company: Takata. That’s why this problem is so widespread — the defective airbags are in many different types of cars.
And the manufacturer, Takata, has known of this defect for years. It claims that excessive humidity is causing the malfunction. In addition, automakers may have known about this problem for years.
Takata Airbag Recall Announced
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which sets car safety standards, required automakers to issue a recall in July 2014.
At that time, the recall was only in effect for geographical areas with high humidity — such as Florida and Puerto Rico. But injuries were happening in other states also. So humidity does not seem to be the only cause.
As of October 2014, the NHTSA has required that the recall be expanded and include the defective airbags in millions of vehicles. There are online databases being set up so you can check if your car is one of them.
The car manufacturers are advising the public about possible danger. Some are even disabling the passenger-side airbag and suggesting that no one sit in the front passenger seat until the defective airbags are replaced.
What This Crippling Defect Does
When the airbags deploy during an accident they are spewing metal pieces into the air. Many people have suffered severe injuries, including cuts to the face and body, injuries to the eyes and pieces embedded into their legs. You can also die if the flying shrapnel severs an artery, or you get injured in a way that causes you to bleed to death.
In addition, the value of your vehicle may be adversely impacted by the defect.
Why the Airbags Explode
The airbags are inflated when an explosive device inside of them goes off. It is in a metal canister and gets triggered upon impact.
In some cases, the device is burning too high. It not only inflates the airbag, but keeps going and bursts it.
The airbags were installed in many vehicles, included several models manufactured by:
The engineers at Takata were aware of this exploding airbag defect as early as 2001, when Honda ordered its first exploding airbag recall. The public is just finding out now–more than a decade later.
You Deserve Compensation
More than 12 million car owners are affected by this recall, across almost a dozen manufacturers. And due to the severity of the defect, everyone who drives one of these vehicles was put at risk of injury or death.
Reach out to us today if you have been injured by your airbag or if a loved one has been killed due to this faulty safety device.
We believe that you deserve compensation for the danger that Takata exposed you to when they knowingly let you keep driving vehicles with defective airbags. You also ought to be reimbursed for having a car that is less valuable than it should be, because it contains a serious defect.
If you own one of these cars, you should join our class action lawsuit by contacting us today.
How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help
As a nationally recognized personal injury, consumer protection, and class action law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg is committed to helping clients win cases. For more than 25 years, we have dedicated ourselves to holding irresponsible practitioners accountable, and we have won $17 billion for our clients.
We would feel privileged to assist you. For a free consultation and more information about your legal options, please call us at 800-476-6070. If you prefer, you can complete our form, and our client relations representative will contact you shortly.