Airbags are designed to deploy during a collision to protect passengers from traumatic injuries. Unfortunately, when airbags fail to deploy during a car accident, passengers can face serious and even fatal injuries. Airbags not deploying during an accident can be very dangerous but a recent airbag recall in the U.S. shows another devastating impact of defective airbags.
Toyota recently recalled over 1.1 million vehicles for defective airbags that could suddenly deploy and cause car accidents and injuries to occupants in the vehicle. The vehicles were recalled after reports of faulty chips in front airbags, causing them to deploy at any moment.
The recall by Toyota came after an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition to Toyota issuing a recall, an additional six automakers recently issued a recall for a million vehicles in the country for defective airbags.
The second recall was issued after reports showed that airbags could potentially release metal fragments at passengers when being deployed or the airbags may start on fire upon deployment. An investigation reported that these defective airbags were caused by a faulty part in the airbag that was manufactured a decade ago.
Airbags have become more popular in the last few decades, with automakers adding more airbags to vehicles than in the past. Reports found that because automakers are adding more airbags, they are trying to save money by using cheaper suppliers to get the most bang for their buck. However, many of the recent airbag recalls have been linked to automakers using these cheaper supply companies, worrying safety organizations throughout the country.
In the past, defective airbags have led to injury lawsuits against the vehicle manufacturer. The most recent airbag recalls could also result in personal injury lawsuits as manufacturers can be held liable for injuries and accidents caused by defective auto equipment.
Source: Lawyers and Settlements, "Massive Airbag Recalls Due to Defective Airbag Components," Gordon Gibb, April 29, 2013