The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is being questioned by Congress regarding their handling of a recent recall of airbags manufactured by the Takata Corporation of Japan. At least four people have reportedly died after the airbags deployed in accidents. Many experts suspect there will be more deaths discovered as the investigation continues.
The Airbag Recall List
More than ten manufacturers received airbags that are covered under the Takata airbag recall. Those currently included in the recall include:
- General Motors
The issue with the airbags prompting the recall involves the mechanism that inflates the bag, which can rupture when the system deploys. When this occurs, the passengers in the vehicle can be sprayed with high-velocity metal and plastic fragments.
Vehicle owners in states like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and others with hot and humid climates are especially at risk, notes airbag defect attorneys. It is suspected that humidity is more likely to trigger the mechanism to rupture, although why this occurs in hot climates is unclear. NHTSA is strongly suggesting those who live in warm climates who receive notification of the Takata airbag recall get their vehicles to a dealership as soon as possible.
There have been cases where victims of the airbag were thought to be the victim of a crime, as the injuries sustained were incompatible with the type of crash. A Florida woman was thought to be the victim of a stabbing when she was found with deep wounds in her neck after an accident. She died of her injuries a few days after the accident. At the time, she had a large amount of cash from a family business that she was planning on taking to the bank, so Florida police initially thought it was a robbery. It was not until the woman’s family received a recall notice in the mail a few days later that investigators suspected her injuries were from the airbag.
Congress would like to see NHTSA order manufacturers to expand the number of vehicle models covered under the Takata airbag recall from those that are in humid climates, as currently requirement, to vehicle in all states regardless of climate. Some manufacturers have already recalled all models with the airbags while others are still only recalling those registered in warm climates. Many experts say this is a problem for “snowbirds” who spend winters in warm climates, but live in cooler states. While their vehicles are not registered in states thought to be hot and humid, they spend a significant part of the year in warm and humid states. In addition, even states not considered warm weather states sometimes deal with heat and humidity.
Injured by an Airbag? Call Us Today.
If you have been injured by an airbag, or if someone has died of injuries sustained when an airbag deployed, contact Attorney Group for Florida today for a free consultation to determine what options you may have. You are under no obligation and the initial consultation is free.