Products liability law seeks to protect victims of defective products and their families. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration delved into this arena recently when it ordered Takata, the airbag manufacturer involved in the recent major airbag recalls, to recall 2.7 million more airbag inflators that are potentially defective. The newly recalled airbag inflators cover vehicles made by three different car manufacturers. A different car maker recently reported the 12th American death caused by the faulty airbags. Internationally, the defective airbags have killed 18 victims and injured at least 180 others.
Approximately 70 million of these air bags have been subject to recall in the United States. The total number of airbags that have been recalled worldwide is 100 million. The airbag manufacturer recently declared bankruptcy and was sold to a Michigan supplier. It is hoped that this purchase will expedite some of the wait times for airbag inflator replacement parts. Currently, fewer than one-third of the defective airbags have been repaired.
Initially, concerns were focused on the vulnerability of the airbag inflators in warm and high humidity climates, but evidence has since mounted creating concerns in cooler and drier climates as well. As a result, recall efforts have expanded to focus on those geographic areas, too. Concerns persist that even more airbags may be vulnerable than was originally understood from the airbag manufacturer. Tragically, this may mean that many more individuals are left susceptible to injuries and death at the hands of a dangerous product.
When victims and families suffer an unexpected death from unsafe products, they have important legal protections to consider to help with the physical, financial, and emotional damages that can be thrust upon them. This is why victims and their families need to carefully consider how product liability law applies to their situation. A skilled attorney may be able to help with this process while at the same time crafting a strong legal strategy that seek so impose liability and recover compensation..
Source: NBC News, "2.7 Million Takata Airbags Recalled for New Defect," Paul A. Eisenstein, July 12, 2017