Federal Officials Expand Investigation into Millions of Vehicles Over Airbag Failure
Volkswagen is issuing a defective vehicle recall for 21,000 2012-2013 Audi A6 sedans and A7 hatchbacks whose passenger-side airbags might fail to properly deploy in the event of a car accident. According to a KMOV.com news report, the recalled Audi A6 cars were manufactured from March 2011 to March 2013 and the Audi A7 cars from January 2011 to March 2013.
A system in these vehicles’ heated and cooled seats may fail to make correct airbag deployment decisions for different front-seat passengers and not open as intended, increasing the risk of injury to occupants. Malfunctions are indicated by both the airbag monitoring light and the passenger airbag off indicator light coming on. When the recall begins, Volkswagen will notify owners about the defect. Audi dealers plan to begin making free repairs in February. Under federal law, dealers must repair safety defects at no cost to consumers.
When Airbags Fail to Deploy
The activation of an airbag in a crash depends on many critical factors including the speed of the crash, the nature of impact, the airbag system’s design strategy and the location of the crash sensors. Airbags are not supposed to deploy in all crashes. There may be some circumstances when an airbag does not deploy. For example, many frontal airbag systems automatically turn off the passenger airbag when they detect a passenger of smaller stature or child. Some vehicles may have a manual on-off switch for the front passenger airbag. If the switch is in the “off” position, the airbag will not deploy. An airbag may not deploy when the vehicle’s airbag readiness light is illuminated.
Injuries and Damages
When defects keep airbags from deploying during a violent crash, the consequences can be devastating. Occupants of the vehicles may suffer significant blunt force trauma injuries such as head injury, spinal cord trauma, internal injuries and multiple broken bones. These are all severe injuries that may require lengthy hospitalization and extensive rehabilitation.
In such cases, injured victims would be well advised to preserve the vehicle unaltered so an expert can examine the vehicle for all evidence including manufacturing defects and design flaws. Injured victims can file a product liability claim against the automaker seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced auto defect attorney will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.