Airbag Recall Update

Posted on Jan 31, 2015

More than 2 million cars covering several makes and models are being recalled a second time to fix airbag problems.. This recall addresses airbags that may inadvertently deploy when the car is running and not involved in any kind of auto collision.

The car makes that are covered include Acura, Dodge, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda, Pontiac, and Toyota.  The cars covered in this recall were manufactured from 2002 to 2004.

In its announcement of the recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explained that all of these cars had been under recall for another defect involving airbags, but the car makers were only partially successful in fixing the defects the first time around.  What are the impacts of the defective airbags?

According to the federal agency, 39 airbags have deployed that were not fixed properly after the first recall. In some of those cases, the inadvertent deployment of airbags caused eye injuries, scratches and burns. So far, the deaths have been linked to these defective airbags.

However, just earlier this week, a personal representative for a 35-year-old man who died in a minor collision filed a lawsuit in Texas. In this case, the estate of the man killed in the accident alleges that an airbag inflated, sending a piece of metal into the deceased motorist's neck. According to the lawsuit, the motorist died at the scene. However, there is no official finding that the death was related to the shrapnel from the exploding airbag.

The manufacturer of the airbags, Takata, is under a immense pressure due to defective airbags that ejectmetal and plastic fragments when deployed. So far, plastic and metal shrapnel have been blamed for five deaths and several injuries worldwide. About ten different automakers have recalled the airbags in about 12 million vehicles in the United States alone, and 19 million vehicles worldwide. The airbag manufacturer has not yet determined what is causing the shooting of metal and plastic shrapnel when the airbag deploys.

In a related news story, Honda was recently find a record $70 million for failing to report death and injury complaints to the federal government. Honda blame this on recordkeeping errors, and the $70 million fine was actually a combination of two separate fines. There is an effort to increase the maximum fine for these kinds of violations.

If you are not sure that your car is subject to recall, check your mail, or go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website to see if you should be contacting your dealer.

if you have been injured as result of an airbag injury, and are not sure about your options, contact us at 503-325-8600. Although we do not regularly handle product liability claims, we have worked with excellent attorneys in the past who do, and can help you determine your options.

Joe Di Bartolomeo
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