Toyota is recalling about 191,000 Corolla and Matrix cars to repair airbags that replaced defective Takata airbags but may have been damaged. According to a USA Today news report, the Japanese automaker announced that it would recall certain 2003 through 2008 model-year Corolla cars and 2005 through 2008 model-year Matrix cars. This recall involves about 135,000 vehicles in the United States that already had their faulty Takata airbags replaced.
Problem with the Replacement Airbags
The issue with these recalled vehicles is that their front-passenger-seat replacement airbags may not perform correctly. If one of these airbags deploys, there is a possibility that it could be damaged, Toyota said in a statement. This type of damage could cause the airbag to not properly inflate, thereby increasing the risk of injury to vehicle occupants in the event of a crash. Toyota declined to comment on whether injuries or deaths have been linked to this auto defect.
Automakers have spent the last several years gradually replacing defective Takata airbags, which are prone to explode with significant force when they deploy sending shards of metal flying into the cabin. These faulty airbags have been blamed for at least 24 deaths. However, this latest recall from Toyota give rise to concerns that the replacement bags might not be safe either. Toyota says dealers will replace the airbag assemblies with improved versions at no cost to owners. The company will notify owners via snail mail starting in October.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Defective Takata airbags led to the largest auto defect recall in U.S. history. The problem with these airbags has caused 28 deaths and a number of catastrophic and severe injuries to drivers and passengers over the years. It is indeed cause for concern that airbags that replaced the defective airbags also have the potential to be faulty and may not protect vehicle occupants in the event of a crash. We count on airbags to keep us safe when a crash occurs. Airbags offer an extra layer of protection, safeguarding us from blunt-force trauma and other severe injuries that could occur in a violent crash.
If you or a loved one has been injured by these or other defective vehicles, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Injured victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Families of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation as well. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to provide victims and their families with more information about pursuing their legal rights.