Suzuki faces a possible auto defect recall for about 205,000 vehicles due to a potential airbag issue. According to a news report in The New York Times, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating whether airbag problems warrant recalling the Suzuki vehicles. This investigation is apparently being complicated by Suzuki’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, which was recently approved by a federal bankruptcy court.
The Japanese automaker plans to withdraw from the American car market after it sells off the rest of its inventory. This could pose a problem should NHTSA decide that a recall is warranted. If an automaker does not have assets, that means there is no money to pay for repairs. NHTSA says it has so far received 128 complaints from Suzuki owners about warning lights indicating issues with the passenger-side airbag. The warning lights suggest a malfunction of the occupant classification system, which detects whether or not a small child is seated up front. In that case, it is supposed to turn off the airbag to prevent injuries to the child.
Defective Airbag Injuries
Airbag defects can be devastating for vehicle occupants. When an airbag fails to deploy or deploys suddenly without warning, vehicle occupants may suffer serious or even life-threatening injuries. Some of the injuries that are commonly suffered as a result of defective airbags include:
• Brain injuries
• Broken bones
• Spinal cord trauma
• Internal injuries
• Facial injuries
Auto Product Liability Issues
Manufacturers of vehicles are responsible for making safe products for consumers. Any time a dangerous or defective auto causes injuries or damages, the automaker or the manufacturer of the defective product can be held liable with an auto product liability claim. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including but not limited to medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost future income, loss of love and companionship and other related damages.
Victims or their families would be well advised to contact an experienced auto products liability lawyer who will ensure that the negligent manufacturers are held liable. In such cases, it is important that the vehicle is preserved in its current crashed condition so that an expert can analyze it thoroughly to defects, malfunctions and other evidence.