Motor vehicles come with airbags in an attempt to prevent as many injuries as possible in the event of a collision. Airbags and similar safety features have saved many motorists from being ejected from a vehicle, from sustaining serious head trauma, and even from death, however these safety features are not infallible and, in some cases, they can even cause injury themselves.
Types of airbag malfunctions
Like any other part on a motor vehicle, an airbag can malfunction and can cause injuries. In some cases, an defective airbag can even be the initial cause of a collision. Some common airbag malfunctions can include:
- Deployment with too much force that causes serious burns or facial fractures to motorists.
- Deployment at too slow of a speed. In such cases, the impact may throw the motorist forward and they may be too close to the airbag when it finally deploys, causing broken ribs, neck injuries, and other serious injuries.
- Failure to properly deploy in a collision, causing a motorist to hit their heads on the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield.
- Sudden deployment in the absence of a collision. If this occurs while the car is in motion, the driver will very likely lose all control and crash.
Recent widespread airbag defects
In recent months, a new and highly dangerous defect has come to the public's attention and it affects upwards of 19 million vehicles1 in the United States. Airbags manufactured by the company Takata can have dysfunctional inflators that cause the airbag to burst upon deployment. Not only can motorists sustain injuries from the bursting airbag itself, but also from sharp shards of metal that have been known to come flying out into the vehicle once the airbag bursts. This defect alone has caused well over 100 serious injuries and at least eight fatalities.
Takata reportedly knew about the airbag defect and denied it for years, failing to issue the appropriate recall to notify vehicle owners about the possible dangers of the airbags until early 2015. As a result, the company is facing numerous legal claims from accident victims and has been fined tens of millions of dollars2 by the U.S. government regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Contact a qualified Michigan car accident lawyer for a free consultation
It is always dangerous when an auto manufacturer sells vehicles that have dangerous defects. There is absolutely no excuse for a manufacturer to knowingly sell a possibly dangerous products that they are aware has caused serious and even fatal injuries to motorists. These companies should be held fully accountable for the losses of any injured accident victims and their families and the car accident attorneys at Michigan Injury Lawyers is committed to standing up for victims' rights. If you believe your accident was caused by a defective airbag or any other part on your vehicle, you should never hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation. Call today at 313-438-4357 for help.