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Eleventh Death Linked to Defective Airbags

Airbags are a standard safety feature in most vehicles on the road today. They are designed to inflate quickly and protect drivers and passengers in the event of a crash or collision. When they deploy properly, they can help to prevent serious and potentially life threatening car accident injuries from occurring. Unfortunately, a defect in airbag inflators manufactured by Takata has led to a number of deaths and the recall of more than 100 million airbags worldwide.

Product Liability

A recent NBC report on defective airbags said that federal safety regulators have confirmed the 11th death in the United States related to the defective airbag inflators. A 50-year-old woman from California died of injuries suffered from a defective airbag after the 2001 Honda Civic she was driving collided head-on with a Chevrolet pickup truck making a left turn.

The report states that Takata used the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion that inflates the airbags. The chemical can degrade over time and blow apart the metal canister designed to contain the explosion, sending metal shrapnel throughout the vehicle.

Older airbag inflators that have spent significant time in hot and humid climates are more likely to malfunction.

Despite national recalls under which automobile manufacturers are required to replace the defective part free of charge, millions of vehicles with defective airbags remain on the road, posing a threat to car owners, as well as used car buyers.

In addition to the automobile maker being responsible for replacing the defective part, the manufacturers of these parts can be held liable for any injuries or damages that occur through a product liability lawsuit.

Victims who are injured due to defective or dangerous products may be entitled to compensation including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The families of people killed by defective products may hold the manufacturer accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Record Number of Automotive Recalls

While defective airbags are the latest automotive product identified as a danger to consumers, they are just one example of the many issues for which millions of cars are recalled each year.

According to a 2015 Insurance Journal report on automotive recalls, more than 51 million cars were recalled in 2014 due to construction, design or performance defects that pose a risk to driver and passenger safety.

These recalls are issued through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which maintains a database in which car owners can check the safety of their vehicles by entering their car’s vehicle identification number (VIN).

In regards to airbags not inflating properly, the latest NHTSA press releases on the Takata airbag recall indicate it has affected more than 70 million car owners, resulting in severe injuries and at least 11 deaths in the U.S. alone.

We Are Prepared to Help You Today

If you have been injured as the result of an airbag not inflating properly or some other type of automotive defect, contact our experienced Kentucky personal injury attorney today. At the Frank Jenkins Law Office, we can advise you on how to hold negligent product manufacturers responsible for the injuries you have suffered, and assist you in seeking the compensation you need to recover.