Can Auto Manufacturers Be Held Responsible When Airbags Cause Death

Most people trust that their airbag will help save their life in a car accident. If it does not help to protect them, then the least we should expect is that it will not do harm. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, as evidenced by Takata airbags. These airbags that were supposedly designed to save lives ended up causing fatal accidents.

The specifics of the case

The airbags were made by the Takata Corporation in Japan but have been used in both American and Japanese cars. The defective parts in the airbags include an accelerant canister. Its purpose is to inflate the airbag when a crash occurs. Studies have shown that the canisters can overheat and explode, which then results in shrapnel flying through the vehicle.

The canisters have worked poorly in other instances too, such as failing to inflate correctly. Millions of vehicles are affected by a recall of these airbags.

Product liability for vehicles

Generally speaking, there are three categories of product liability claims for any type of defective item – including auto parts. First, the cause may be manufacturing defects. This happens when the process of manufacturing or the materials used during manufacturing are not good enough to stand up to normal use.

The second example are design defects. These happen when a product or part are made from good enough materials and are manufactured correctly, but the design is poor and unreasonable. One example would be a design for a clothing rack that includes sharp points at the ends of the bars.

Finally, there are warning defects. This category involves products that cannot be made safely and still work correctly. For example, a kitchen knife is sharp and must be to work correctly. However, the manufacturer of the product would have a responsibility to alert users of the inherent risks in its sharpness.

What does a recall mean?

As mentioned above, millions of vehicles have been recalled for the airbag issue. Many wonder: What difference does that really make? First, let us understand how recalls work. They can be issued by the manufacturers directly, or they can be issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Once the recall has been issued, the owner of the vehicle is responsible for addressing the recall. For auto recalls, they can do this for free at any licensed dealership for the vehicle type they have.

Note that the fact that a recall has been issued does not mean that victims cannot recover compensation if they are injured. If you have been injured as a result of these airbags, or if you have lost a loved one in an accident with them, then there are options available to you. Contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now for a free legal consultation.