Some of the largest-scale automotive recalls in recent years have involved defective airbags. These crucial safety systems can prevent potentially fatal or life-altering injuries. When people purchase newer vehicles, the safety systems, such as side-impact airbags, are often one of the most important considerations.
Unfortunately, airbags do not always operate the way that they should, putting people on the road at unnecessary risk. Defective airbags have been a major cause of large-scale recalls in recent years, but manufacturers and dealerships often can’t make repairs as quickly as they should given the risk involved.
There have been two particularly common types of airbag defects in recent years, both of which have been cause for concern.
1. Some airbags don’t deploy
When you think of a defective product, you likely imagine an item that simply doesn’t do what its manufacturer designed it to do. That is exactly what happens with many defective airbags.
After an impact that should clearly have triggered the airbag to prevent someone from hitting the windows or steering wheel of their vehicle, the airbags remain undeployed. Drivers and occupants may suffer injuries to the chest and torso or to the head because airbags did not deploy as they should. Some people may even die if they get into a crash and a defective airbag does not inflate the way it should.
2. Some airbags explode
The Takata airbag recalls involved issues with how the airbags deployed and the materials used to inflate them. In some cases, the airbags might explode, sending shrapnel through the cabin of the vehicle. A safety device that explodes in someone’s face is obviously not going to improve their medical outcome in a car crash.
Both those injured in crashes because of defective airbags and those grieving a family member’s death who likely would have survived the crash if the airbag had deployed properly may have grounds to bring a lawsuit or defective product insurance claim.
Manufacturers who do not alert consumers about a defect or handle their recalls in a timely manner can still have liability for any injuries people suffer when their products fail. Connecting your recent losses with a defective product can be the first step toward proper compensation for you and your family.