The largest vehicle recall ever continues to grow over a year after it first started. Takata is an airbag manufacturer who produces airbags for most of the major car companies. Numerous deaths all across the United States have been blamed for these airbags deploying incorrectly and causing serious injury. To-date, vehicles from around 20 different automakers have been recalled because of defective airbags on the passenger side, driver side or both.
The airbags have a defective inflator that sometimes explodes with enough force to send sharp pieces of metal from the airbag into the car leading to catastrophic or fatal injuries. The National Health and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated and found that the problem is the result of ammonium nitrate without a drying agent. When this particular chemical deteriorates, especially in hot climates like here in Los Angeles, the airbags would explode with too much force, turning them from life-saving devices into essentially grenades.
The NHTSA has put out a tool that lets you look and see if your vehicle has been affected. It can be found at: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls. NHTSA also recommends that you use the VIN Look-up Tool at least twice a year to see if your vehicle is under any safety recall. Please note that vehicles that have not yet been recalled, but are scheduled to be recalled in the future under NHTSA’s Consent Order with Takata, will not be searchable until they are actually recalled – and it recommends checking for recalls twice each year in order to be sure.
If you’ve been in a car accident where your airbags deployed, you may have noticed that they aren’t’ akin to a fluffy cloud preventing you from bumping into anything. On the contrary, they explode with incredible speed and force, and so even if they do their job of preventing even worse injury, they often cause injury themselves in the form of blunt force trauma to the face, neck, body, even back. To make matters worse, they can be sometimes set off in small collisions that wouldn’t have harmed you otherwise, but now actually hurt you simply from their rapid deployment.
This can make determining who should pay for your injuries from a car accident extremely difficult. You have to analyze the damage from the accident and figure out which the other party is responsible for, which is damage caused by your own airbags (or lack thereof if they don’t deploy), and even which is the responsibility of the manufacturer of the airbags (not to mention the dealership if they sold you a vehicle after the recall without addressing the problem). The only way to know for sure and to make sure you hold every responsible party accountable in compensating you for every dollar you are owed is to have a skilled attorney look at the case and make sure a failure to deploy doesn’t result in a failure to collect.
For over 30 years Slatter Law Firm has been helping the victims of car accidents and personal injury get the compensation they deserve. We know the steps to take, and will fight to get you or your loved ones the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident or by an airbag, please call us today for your free consultation at (310) 444-3010 or toll-free at (888) 293-0404.