Car accidents can result in very serious and fatal injuries, which is why vehicles are equipped with air bags designed to protect occupants during crashes. Unfortunately, when air bags are defective, they don't provide the necessary protection for passengers and defective air bags can cause serious safety risks for consumers in the U.S.
Recently, several popular automakers, including Honda, Nissan and Toyota, have issued recalls for almost 3.4 million vehicles throughout the world for defective air bags. The recall was issued after auto manufacturers found that the defective air bags may force shrapnel to fly into the passenger compartment after a crash that triggers the air bags to deploy. As part of the recall, the automakers said they would inspect the air bags for the affected vehicles and replace them if needed free of charge for the vehicle owners.
The defective air bags used by the different automakers were all manufactured by the same company in Japan. The recall notice said that the air bags had a faulty mechanism that can cause plastic and metal parts from the air bag to fly into the vehicle's passenger area. The manufacturer said that no one has been injured but there were reports of air bags not deploying properly while people were driving.
Defective air bags are a very serious matter and like many other types of auto defects, automakers and manufacturers are required to inform the public about any possible safety issues. While this case has not resulted in any serious injuries or fatalities that is sadly not the case for all auto defects.
Many times, the public is not notified of a safety issue with their vehicle until it is too late and someone has been injured or killed due to a defective air bag, tire or other auto part that causes an accident or injury to occur. Victims of auto defects should know that they have rights to pursue legal action against the automaker and manufacturer responsible for the defective part. Victims should consult a products liability attorney to discuss their specific case and see what legal options are available.
Source: Detroit Free Press, "Airbag defect leads to recall of 3.4 million vehicles," April 11, 2013