Danger posed by defective air bags may have been underestimated

Although many consumers enjoy shopping, few enjoy taking a product in for repairs. In the event of a product recall, the defect will be repaired free of charge. Even then, however, the scheduling might be a hassle that consumers may avoid or put off.

In the recent example of Takata air bags, unfortunately, any delay could result in serious or even fatal personal injury. In fact, federal regulators have warned that owners of the affected vehicles -- certain Honda and Acura 2001-2003 models -- should not even drive their vehicles until the dealer has repaired the defective air bags.

The warning is in response to a new round of tests. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials, the faulty airbags might rupture upon impact and spray metal shrapnel. The problem stems from the company’s use of ammonium nitrate to inflate the bags. Upon impact, the chemical triggers a small explosion. If it burns too fast, however, the chemical’s container may explode, resulting in the shrapnel spray.

Although the instant recall is limited in scope, the NHTSA estimates that 70 million Takata air bags will have been recalled in the United States by 2019. That gives Takata the dubious distinction of having the largest recall in U.S. history.

An intended safety feature is not supposed to result in personal injury. Unfortunately, the airbags have been cited in hundreds of injuries, as well as 10 deaths. A victim of a dangerous product deserves to seek compensation for any injuries and other damages resulting from the defect. Yet a product liability lawsuit brought against a company with deep pockets may not be easy. Our law firm has the experience and resources to build a strong claim.

Source: Washington Post, “Citing Takata air bags, regulators tell some Honda and Acura owners not to drive,” Ashley Halsey III, June 30, 2016

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