Dangerous Auto Defects Still on the Radar in the US in 2017
We’ve written multiple blogs about the dangers of exploding airbags, but people are still being injured by these and other auto defects. The primary company responsible for exploding airbag cases has been Takata, a Japanese manufacturer who filed for bankruptcy just last month. Even now, three years after the initial recalls, people are still being killed and injured by exploding airbags.
General Motors has also been in the news recently, as they’ve opened their doors to compliance with federal investigators looking into ignition switch failures. This compliance is good, but the fact that cars have become so dangerous as to require this kind of investigation is troubling.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective part of your car, do not hesitate to talk to an attorney about the injuries. The Philadelphia defective product injury lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm fight against defective product manufacturers to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If, like in this case, someone was killed because of a defective product, you might be entitled to substantial compensation for your loss. Talk to an attorney to understand what your case may be worth.
New Exploding Airbag Case in 2017
Exploding airbag cases, like those involving Takata airbags, have typically been caused by a problem with the airbag materials and design. In these cases, the airbags were produced overseas, with little long-term testing in the US. Humid weather was blamed for weakening the materials used to make the external shell of the airbag housing and the airbag inflator. When the inflator pump pushed air into the airbag itself, the weakened housing exploded. This sent the metal shell flying into shrapnel that has injured many drivers and passengers across the country. After a series of recalls, it seemed the exploding airbag problem was mostly a thing of the past.
This new 2017 case is troubling not only because of the time that has elapsed since the initial manufacturing of these airbags, but because of the high number of unresolved recalls.
The car in question here was a 2001 Honda Accord, one of the models and years known to have airbag defects. Over the course of seven years, various owners of the specific vehicle had been sent a total of 12 recall notices for the airbags. During that time, the recall repair was never performed. Ultimately, leaving this airbag in the car lead to this man’s death.
Unlike many of the known exploding airbag cases, this airbag exploded while the man was performing repairs on his car. It is not clear whether he had automotive repair training or what repairs he was making, but it was clear that both airbags deployed, leading to his injuries and eventual death.
GM Ignition Switch Investigation
GM began issuing recalls for ignition switch failures back in 2014. Since then, the company has been quite open and vocal about its possible safety issues, and appears to be going to great lengths to cooperate with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to fix faulty ignition switches.
With a faulty ignition switch, the car can literally shut down while driving. This can make acceleration useless, power steering difficult, and can cause your vehicle to seize-up, even at highway speeds.
GM has settled many of its cases, though the terms of the settlements were kept confidential. Still, General Motors has paid around $2.5 billion in total settlements and penalties. In any case, there have been hundreds of cases filed against GM for their faulty ignition switches. However, their cooperation with the NHTSA shows a willingness to stop the dangers of their defective switches.
Suing for Auto Defects
If you or a loved one has been injured because of an auto defect, or you have lost a loved one to a defective or dangerous auto malfunction, talk to an attorney. Even if there is a standing recall on your product, you might still be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Large companies may try to convince you to accept a settlement for your injuries. This involves their legal teams or representatives telling you how much your case is worth, and asking you to accept that money instead of going to court. Never accept a settlement offer before talking to an attorney. It is difficult to know how much your case is worth without experienced legal advice. Especially since many of the settlements these companies pay are kept secret, you may not even know what other injury cases were worth.
Lastly, even if you were partly responsible for your own injuries, you may still be entitled to compensation. For instance, even if the man who died repairing his own car triggered the airbags, they still should not have killed him and he still may deserve compensation.
Auto Defect Attorneys
Talk to a Philadelphia personal injury attorney about your auto defect injuries today. The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm offer free consultations on new cases. Call (215) 246-9000 today for a free, confidential consultation on your auto defect case.