A recent car accident case out of Nevada expanded the Takata airbag recall and demonstrates the difficulty in tracking down dangerous Takata airbag inflators, and how they could still be in used cars. Even after numerous recalls and replacements around the country to eliminate the dangers of defective Takata airbags, these dangerous devices are still causing injuries in car accidents.
AP news reports that a Las Vegas woman was in a car accident, and her airbag exploded. Flying shrapnel injured her throat and vocal cords. As it turned out, the injury was likely caused by her used car’s defective Takata airbag. If you or a loved one has suffered injury from a defective car part, whether it be a defective airbag, defective seatbelt, or any other car defect, our attorneys may be able to help. Call the experienced products liability attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm today for help with your Pennsylvania personal injury case.
Exploding Airbags Still a Risk for Used Car Owners
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been on the hunt for years to stop auto manufacturers from using Takata airbags. These airbags have been responsible for numerous fatalities across the country because they explode, rather than simply inflating the airbag during a car accident. These explosions have been known to cause metal shrapnel to fly out from the airbag apparatus and injure drivers and passengers.
These defects have typically been a problem in humid climates. The humidity and frequent changes in temperature were not taken into account in the airbag’s design, and the materials used have become unsafe in these environments. This recent airbag explosion is interesting, since it happened in Las Vegas – an area known for being notoriously dry in climate. Las Vegas has a typical average humidity of around 26% in August, compared to 70% in Philadelphia for August (one of the more humid months of the year).
Takata airbags have previously been used in new cars from BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota between 2001 and 2007 – with some being used as late as 2008 or even 2011. Takata airbags are, thankfully, no longer used in new cars – but that doesn’t mean your car is safe.
Used cars from this era may still have Takata airbags that were never replaced during recalls. Alternatively, as AP news points out in its article, airbags and other parts may be reclaimed from wrecked or dismantled cars. It is perfectly legal in many states to salvage parts from disabled or wrecked vehicles. These parts can be sold and put into used cars. Other times, these parts may be from stolen cars dismantled in chop shops.
If you are driving a car from 2001 to 2011, it may be worth investigating whether it uses a Takata airbag. Especially if you never had a recall serviced on your vehicle, or you had your airbag replaced after an accident, your airbag could be a second-hand, defective airbag.
Holding Companies Responsible for Auto Defects
Takata has already been held responsible numerous times for death and injuries from its faulty airbag inflators. If you have suffered an injury from an exploding Takata airbag, you could also seek compensation from the Takata Corporation.
These are, by far, not the only auto defects out there. Numerous seatbelt defects, ignition lock defects, and other vehicle defects have been responsible for death and injury over the years. Despite improved testing procedures and a great effort on the part of the NHTSA to force recalls, many defective auto parts hurt people every year. The manufacturers of dangerous parts can often be made to compensate those injured by their defective products.
These used car defect cases might be more complicated. Since used cars were likely owned by someone else during the airbag recall and may have even been investigated and declared safe by car dealerships before you owned the car, other people might be responsible for your injuries.
Since auto mechanics and car dealerships work with cars and recalls all the time, they may be expected to recognize the dangers of these defective products. The fact that someone either sold a car with a defective product or installed a product with known defects may make that individual partly responsible for your injuries.
Regardless of who should be held responsible for your injuries, our attorneys can help. We can help you file lawsuits against the proper parties to maximize your compensation.
Philadelphia Auto Defect Attorneys
To talk to an experienced attorney about your auto defect case, call The Reiff Law Firm today. Our lawyers offer free consultations for new clients, plus we charge no legal fees until you get compensation. To talk about your case with our experienced injury lawyers, call today at (215) 246-9000.