In the 1970s, airbags were created to help protect drivers and passengers if an accident occurred. For the most part, many lives have been saved in dangerous situations. However, over the last decade, some airbags have done the opposite. Millions of cars have been recalled due to airbags not deploying completely, improperly, unexpectedly, or when they don't deploy at all, according to the Law Offices of Thomas J. Henry.
Some causes of faulty airbags include:
- Long-term exposure to the high heat and humidity causing airbags to explode when deployed, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Design defects
- Loss of power prior to a collision
- Manufacturing flaw
- Sensor failure
Brands like Toyota, Honda, and Ford who use Takata airbag inflators have been at the crux of this recall. These three brands were linked to a number of accidents involving drivers who were severely injured or worse due to metal objects exploding from the airbags. Other car companies like Hyundai, Kia, GM, and Fiat had vehicles recalled due to airbags failing to deploy or deploying unexpectedly.
In a recent article regarding the Honda recall, Business Insider reported that Takata airbags were created using ammonium nitrate that would create a small explosion to inflate airbags during a collision. But, when the chemical has been exposed to high temperatures and humidity, the metal canister inside the airbag explodes causing it to spew metal shrapnel at the driver and passenger.
Injuries caused by defective airbags include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Fractures and broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Hearing loss
Remember, airbags are designed to work with seatbelts, so it's important to remember to buckle up before putting your foot on the gas. No child under 13 should sit in the front seat—small children and infants should always ride in car seats.
Check to see if your vehicle has been recalled due to defective airbags by visiting https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls. All you need is your vehicle identification number (VIN). Drivers can sign up for recall alerts too.
If you learn that your airbag has been recalled, the NHTSA recommends you follow any interim safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer and contact your local dealership to fix the recalled part for free.
If you or a loved one have been harmed from a defective airbag, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Thomas J. Henry are here to help. To speak with an attorney or to learn more, visit their website at https://thomasjhenrylaw.com.