Almost five million vehicles have recently been issued a recall warning regarding Takata airbags that could be defective. The recall affects vehicles manufactured by BMW, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota. The United States National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that vehicle owners living in hot-weather places including:
- Gulf Coast of Texas
- American Samoa
- Virgin Islands
It is believed that humidity may make the airbag problem worse.
The problem, according to defective airbag lawyers, is that the inflator mechanism ruptures when the airbag deploys, spraying the vehicle occupants with fast moving metal fragments. Officials have confirmed four deaths connected to the faulty airbags. Some experts describe the metal debris as “shrapnel,” according to a defective airbag lawyer in Alabama. It is unknown currently how many people have been injured by the airbags.
Legislators in Washington DC are urging NHTSA to issue a nationwide recall of vehicles with the airbags, which were manufactured by Takata. The manufacturer is being investigated regarding whether they made misleading statements to regulators who were questioning the safety of the air bags. Takata, a Japanese company, supplied almost eight million airbags to at least ten vehicle manufacturers.
Congress has expressed concerns about how NHTSA has handled the airbag issue. According to defective airbag lawyers, some car makers are replacing all suspected airbags, while others are only offering to replace the devices in vehicles registered in hot and humid climates, such as Alabama. Currently, the injuries and deaths have only been reported from areas with warmer climates, although investigators are reviewing deaths related to airbags in other states to determine if the problem is more widespread.
Another problem with the way the recall has been handled, according to an Alabama defective airbag lawyer, is that there are many people, especially retired individuals, who spend winter months in the hot and humid south, but have vehicles registered in northern states where they spend the winter. Those vehicles are not currently covered by the NHTSA recall, although the owners of the vehicles and the passengers they may carry could be at risk of injury or death from the defective airbags.
Currently, only 12 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide and officials urge anyone who has gotten a recall notice to bring their vehicle to a dealership as soon as possible to have the airbag replaced. They are also encouraged to not allow passengers to sit in the front seat until the airbag issue is corrected in their vehicle.
Seek Help From an Alabama Defective Airbag Lawyer
Seeking legal counsel after being injured by a defective airbag is critical to protecting your rights. If this has happened to you, contact Attorney Group for Alabama to discuss what options you may have to receive compensation for your injuries. Your initial consultation is free, confidential and you are under no obligation. Contact us today to learn more.