More defective airbags have been recalled than ever in 2013 compared to any other year in the United States, according to a news report on AOL Autos. Over the first nine months in 2013, automakers have recalled more than 6 million cars because of possible hazards related to airbag malfunctions. These faulty airbags have injured motorists and in at least one case, killed a driver. During serious car accidents, airbags have at times failed to deploy. In other cases, airbags have deployed when they were not supposed to, in some instances, spraying shrapnel at the occupants when they exploded.
High Number of Airbag Recalls
Vehicle manufacturers have conducted 29 separate airbag recalls through mid-October, which is a record high for a single year. The previous record of 23 was set just last year. The most recent recall relating to defective airbags came this month when Toyota recalled 803,000 cars in the U.S. due to an electrical short circuit that prevented some airbags from deploying in the event of a crash. Two people were reported injured as a result of this airbag defect.
The Complexity of the Issue
The article talks about how airbags are getting more and more complex making them more prone to problems. One example is how automakers are buying airbags from one supplier and using those devices on a variety of car models. So, when there is a problem with one car, a large number of vehicles must be recalled in order to fix the problem.
In order to understand the issue, it is important to understand how airbags really work. Airbags are not soft pillows that cushion vehicle occupants during a crash. On the contrary, airbag deployment occurs with a lot of force unleashed within milliseconds. Whether airbags fail to deploy or deploy inadvertently, serious injuries or fatalities can occur. Also, today’s cars contain more airbags than ever. The law required driver and passenger side airbags. Many offer side torso airbags, side curtain airbags and even knee airbags for front and rear passengers. Some even offer seatbelt airbags to help minimize the strain of a strap in an accident.
Airbag failure also occurs due to software issues. It seems as if the problems relating to airbags will only increase in the coming years. It is important that anyone who has been injured or has lost a loved one as the result of a defective airbag seek the counsel of an experienced auto product liability lawyer who will help protect their rights.