Federal agencies are expanding recalls of faulty airbags to cover more units and automakers, after reports of at least 5 fatalities linked to malfunctioning airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expanding its probe into faulty airbags, its most exhaustive recall since the recall of the Takata airbags that were linked to multiple airbag–related fatalities.
This most recent investigation involves airbag supplier TRW which is owned by the German auto parts supplier ZF, and covers 12.5 million vehicles manufactured by a number of automakers, including Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Kia, and Mitsubishi and Hyundai. The defect causes the airbag to fail to deploy in the event of a crash. Investigators believe that interference from electrical wiring could obstruct the airbag’s ability to deploy properly in the event of a crash. Both passenger side and driver side airbags are believed to be impacted by this defect.
Automakers are scrambling to recall their cars in the light of the agency’s warning of this defect. Honda and Kia have recalled a million cars and trucks, adding to recalls by Fiat Chrysler in 2016. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has admitted that it is aware of at least two accidents in which airbags failed to deploy. Both these accidents involved Toyota Corollas. Honda cars, including Acura models from the 2012-19 model years are included in the recall too.
Airbag safety has taken center stage over the past few years, especially since the Takata airbag scandal underscored just how much at risk motorists and passengers can be from malfunctioning airbags. The Taka airbag recall was the biggest such recall in US history. The recall was linked to defects that caused airbags to deploy violently or explosively, sending shards or fragments of metal into the faces and bodies of occupants of the car and injuring them seriously. Several fatalities were linked to the defective airbags. In the US alone, there have been 16 fatalities linked to the defective Takata airbags with the worldwide toll crossing 25 deaths.
When products cause harm, even when they are used for the purpose for which they are designed and in the manner in which they are supposed to be used, consumers may file claims for damages. If you have been injured as the result of the use of a defective product, call an Indianapolis product liability lawyer at Montross Miller and discuss filing a claim for damages.