Airbags are an important safety feature required in every passenger vehicle1 since the late 1990's. Front airbags keep drivers and front seat passengers from hitting their heads or chests on the dashboard, steering wheel, or windshield, while side airbags protect motorists in rollover accidents or side collisions. Though airbags have prevented thousands of severe injuries and saved numerous lives, airbags have been known to actually cause certain injuries.
Airbags deploy at a high velocity and can often result in minor burns on arms and faces, as well as possible fractures in the delicate bones of the face, even when deployment goes as intended. When airbags are defective, however, they can cause serious and sometimes fatal accidents and injuries. For this reason, you should always check to make sure that your airbags are considered to be safe.
Common airbag injuries
Defective airbags can malfunction in many different ways and cause serious injuries. Some common airbag malfunctions include as follows:
- Overly forceful deployment
- Late deployment
- Failure to deploy
- Deployment when there is no collision, which can eliminate road visibility and cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle
All of these defective airbags have caused injury to drivers, passengers, as well as motorists in other cars. If an airbag malfunction causes injuries, victims have the legal right to recover from the manufacturer that negligently produced and sold the defective product.
Recent Airbag recalls
Any of the above airbag defects can result in serious injuries, however, random deployment with no trigger was often believed to be the most serious type of malfunction. That is, until recent years when a new type of malfunction began occurring and caused numerous severe injuries and even at least eight deaths in the United States. Airbags produced by the manufacturer Takata and installed in many different makes and models of vehicles had defective inflating systems. These inflators caused the airbags to inflate at such a fast rate that the bags would explode. When the airbag exploded, fragments of the metal parts inside the airbag were projected into the vehicle directly toward the motorists the airbags were meant to protect. As you can imagine, high-speed sharp metal projectiles caused severe lacerations, puncture wounds, eye damage, and death.
While Takata allegedly knew of the issue for years, the company refused to admit that there was any widespread defect for years and even faced sanctions by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)2 for refusing to issue a recall. Finally, in May, the corporation issued a recall of over 34 million vehicles due to potentially dangerous airbags. Anyone who owns a car should check the recall site3 to determine whether your airbags are safe.
For this very reason, we suggest consulting with a burn injury attorney in your area. Knowing your rights is vital and a key step in recovery.
Call a Michigan defective products attorney for a free consultation today
Anyone injured by a defective airbag or other auto part should contact the Stroble Firm in Michigan as soon as possible to see how you can hold the manufacturer liable. We offer free consultations, so contact us today at 888-454-0801 for assistance.