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Airbags Are Supposed to Save Lives – Not Endanger Them

December 10, 2014

Airbags Are Supposed to Save Lives – Not Endanger Them

When you think about airbags, you probably imagine someone being cushioned from a damaging collision. The airbag is an innovation that has saved countless lives over the years and protected even more people from catastrophic injury.

But over the past year, more and more information has come out about malfunctioning airbags from Takata Corp in Japan. Airbags that can literally explode and shoot metal shrapnel into the passenger compartment. It’s an issue that has impacted around 17 million vehicles around the world, and the numbers just keep growing.

A few weeks ago, the federal government even called for a nationwide recall of all vehicles using Takata airbags. To say that people are scared would be putting it mildly.

Why Is This Defect Worse than Others in Recent Memory?

Automotive recalls and defects are nothing new. They happen all the time, and many are even downright frightening. Just in the past few years we’ve had to deal with GM’s faulty ignition switch, which has killed 36 and caused 2.6 million recalls.

So why do exploding airbags seem to have caught our collective attention so much more readily than killing them?

Floridians should be especially aware of this issue, because climates that are hot and damp like ours are known to make the problem worse by causing the propellant to deteriorate and make an explosion more likely.

Beyond the fact that something designed to keep us safe is now hurting people, this isn’t an issue limited to one automaker. There are, in fact, 13 car manufacturers that use Takata airbags and dozens of models. You can see all of the affected cars here, but below you’ll find a list of the majority of models that are impacted.

BMW

Chrysler

Ford

General Motors

Honda

Mazda

Mitsubishi

Nissan

Subaru

Toyota

What to Do If Your Airbag Explodes

No one wants to be injured in a car accident, but when you’re hurt by something in your own vehicle that you were trusting to protect you, somehow it seems that much worse. You might feel scared, angry, or even just numb, but if you want to ensure that everyone involved gets out okay and you don’t have to pay for someone else’s negligence, there are several things you should do.

Seek medical attention. The shrapnel from Takata’s exploding airbags can cause serious injuries to the face and chest areas of anyone sitting in the passenger seat, but others in the car aren’t immune. Your first course of action should be to make sure that everyone is okay, and that means getting checked out by a medical professional just in case there are problems you don’t immediately notice.

Document everything. If you are able to do so, take pictures of the accident and the airbag, so you have evidence of how it malfunctioned and the injuries it caused. Some evidence may disappear if you don’t capture it immediately. The sooner you can record it, the better.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Injury Claims

Call a personal injury lawyer. When you’re hurt or someone you love is killed due to a defective part, the company responsible should go out of its way to ease your burden as much as possible and make reparations. Unfortunately, the opposite is often true. They will attempt to deny their role in the travesty and hide behind their team of high-priced attorneys to avoid giving you what you deserve. 

That’s why you need someone knowledgeable on your side who’s just as willing to fight, and who isn’t afraid to take on giant corporations. The sooner your legal team is on the case, the better your chances of winning your suit and getting justice.

About the Author:

Florida “SuperLawyer”—an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state—and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”