Parts of Texas and other Gulf states have been included in a recall of airbags made by Takata Corporation. However, lawmakers are asking the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to further expand the airbag recall to cover all vehicles in all states where vehicle might have the airbags installed. Texas defective airbag lawyers note that the mechanism that causes the airbag to inflate can explode, sending metal and plastic fragments into the passenger compartment of the vehicle.
If you have been injured by an airbag, contact Attorney Group for Texas. We can provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation, and if you have a claim we can connect you with a Texas defective airbag attorney who can help you pursue your claim for compensation. You may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and wrongful death if a loved one died as a result of a defective airbag.
Humidity Affects Airbag Recall
Takata claims that the alleged defect only occurs in areas of high absolute humidity and that cars that are not exposed to this type of weather should not have the issue. Four people have died and 139 people injured after Takata airbags in vehicles in which they were riding deployed. In one case, a defective airbag lawyer noted that the injured party was thought to have been stabbed to death in a failed robbery attempt as her injuries did not match the damage to the vehicle. She suffered deep lacerations to her neck, which ultimately led to her death. Only later into the investigation was it determined that her injuries had been caused by her airbag.
Although areas of Texas do have extended periods of absolute humidity, people whose permanent residences are in a different state may spend winters in Texas. Many of these bring vehicles registered in their home state that may not be covered under the recall, potentially exposing them to an increased risk of injury or death in a higher humidity climate. Under the current recall, because these “snowbirds” registered their vehicle in a cooler climate state, they would not have received notice of the airbag recall.
Problems Posed for Dealerships and Automakers
Dealerships are reporting problems getting the parts to correct the airbag issues. This has prompted one automaker, Toyota, to instruct dealers to disable the passenger-side airbag and place a warning label on the dash telling passengers not to use the front seat. Defective airbag lawyers note that legislators do not accept this solution and are requesting that owners be provided loaner cars until repairs have been completed.
At least one automaker, Honda, is alleged to have been aware of the problem since 2004 but failed to notify safety regulators of the seriousness of the problem. In 2009, Takata and Honda settled a lawsuit filed by a defective airbag lawyer for a woman who had allegedly been severely injured by debris from her airbag. In 2013, another lawsuit was settled by the two companies after a woman died in a Christmas Eve accident in which her three young children were involved.
Injured by an Airbag? Call Us Today.
If you have been injured by an airbag, call Attorney Group for Texas for a free consultation to learn more about pursuing a product liability or wrongful death claim.