Airbags are placed in motor vehicles to prevent drivers’ and passengers’ heads and upper bodies from slamming into the vehicle’s interior in the event an accident occurs. Airbags work best when used in conjunction with seat belts. All cars sold in the U.S. are required to have working airbags for both front seat passengers. It is now fairly common that cars also contain side-impact airbags as well. Though airbags are intended to protect, there have been a handful of cases where passengers are injured due to faulty airbags. Studies show over 41.5 million vehicles equipped with Takata airbags are under recall, as they found the airbags have been exploding during deployment, causing serious injury and even death.
Takata Airbag Recall
The recall of Takata airbags affects almost twenty different automakers in car models from 2002 to 2015. This recall was one of the largest safety recalls to occur in the U.S. The main issue with the airbag stemmed from the inflator. In the case of the Takata airbags, the inflator ruptured and the metal cartridge inside broke off into shards, injuring the vehicle passengers.
The explosions of the Takata airbags have been blamed on high heat and humidity. This poses a problem for residents of Nevada, especially now during the summer months. With temperatures easily reaching over 100 degrees, the possibility for airbag malfunctions increases.
Injuries And Deaths
There have been a recorded total of 23 deaths as a result of Takata airbag malfunctions. In each incident, the faulty airbag exploded unexpectedly and pieces of metal were sent flying throughout the vehicle. Along with these horrific and unnecessary deaths, numerous injuries have occurred from the defective airbags. Almost 250 different injuries have been documented, including:
- Puncture wounds
- Skull fractures
A number of these injuries have lead to death, with the most recent victim passing away just three days after the faulty airbag deployment took place. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is taking the issue very seriously. Car manufacturers that contain the airbag have made announcements informing the public of the recall. Although there have been steps taken to fix the fatal issue, the NHTSA admits that not all parts were available right away, so many cars still contain the defective parts.
Since the Takata airbag has been used in a variety of different car makes and models, it can be confusing to know if you are in danger or not. If you are concerned that your vehicle may contain a defective air, there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones:
- Check for recalls using your VIN, or vehicle identification number
- Call your car dealer
- Check your mail for missed recall notices
- Get your car fixed at your local dealer
- Sign up for recall alerts to protect from future issues
How The Cottle Firm Can Help
Our personal injury lawyers offer decades of legal experience for residents of Nevada. We have won our clients over a quarter of a billion dollars and a majority of our client base refer their family and friends to our firm. Defective products are one of our firm’s main practice areas. We understand such products exist and we make it a priority to help those living in Nevada who have been injured as a result of product malfunction. Call the Cottle Firm at 702-722-6111 if you or someone you love has suffered an injury from a defective product.