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Investigation on Additional 12.3 Million Vehicles for Airbag Malfunction

Malfunctioning Takata Airbags have been in the news since 2001, with the first recalls by Isuzu. According to NPR, this has been the largest ever recall on automobiles in United States history.(IbTimes)

Defective Takata airbags are responsible for at least 15 deaths and 250 injuries in the US, to date.

The first recalls were due to faulty airbags exploding, hurling sharp pieces of broken metal all over the vehicle. “The airbags use ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbag upon impact; over time, the chemical can become unstable especially when exposed to high heat and humidity, causing inflators to explode….”(Financial Buzz)

This newest investigation focuses on faulty airbags (produced by ZF-TRW) that do not inflate on impact, which could lead to death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “…the control unit, which is supposed to sense when a crash occurs but may be having electrical inference by the crash impact itself…” is the cause of the affected airbags not deploying. This has resulted in at least eight deaths.

“The probe covers parts installed in Toyota, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Fiat Chrysler vehicles from 2010-2019 model years.”(ABC6)

Also, Honda issued a second recall in February, after an airbag that had already been fixed deployed during a crash, and the inflator ruptured, injuring the driver. After investigation of this crash, “Honda found that inflators manufactured at Takata’s factory in Monclova, Mexico, experienced manufacturing errors which introduced excessive moisture into the inflator during assembly. …since moisture can accelerate degradation of the ammonium nitrate used for inflating the airbag, this can result in overly forceful deployment of the airbag and possible rupture of the inflator.”

Unfortunately, recall notices received by mail are often ignored by consumers, which can be very dangerous. Please pay close attention to anything you receive from an automobile manufacturer.

How to find out if your vehicle is affected by a recall:

  • Recall notifications are mailed out to owners by manufacturers.
  • Search the NHTSA website by Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which you can find on your car’s registration card, or in the lower part of the driver’s side windshield.
  • Call your dealership.
  • Sign up for future recall alerts on NHTSA’s website.

What to do if your vehicle is affected by a recall:

Call the nearest dealership for your vehicle. “Manufacturers are required to fix the problem by repairing it, replacing it, offering a refund, or in rare cases repurchasing the vehicle.” (NHTSA)

Contact David L. Hood If You’ve Been Hurt by a Defective Product in South Carolina

If you or a loved one has been injured by a recalled or defective product, please schedule a free consultation with attorney David L. Hood by calling (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the effects of product defect-related injuries and the untold pain and suffering they cause. At the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to protect your rights and make things simple for you and your family so you can focus on healing. After a free case evaluation, attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put years of experience to work for you!

*Clients are not liable for any expenses unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.

 

Other online resources used in this article:

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/24/716614132/government-expands-air-bag-investigation-to-include-more-than-12-million-vehicle

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/air-bag-probe-expands-include-12-3m-vehicles-your-car-n997466

 

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