Defective Takata airbags, which have been found to explode and hurl fragments of metal parts from its inflators toward vehicle occupants, especially during a collision, have killed 15 people and injured nearly 300 in the United States. Yet, according to a recent report from an NBC affiliate in Texas, some vehicle owners are complaining that General Motors is refusing to replace these defective airbags, which have the potential to kill or severely injure vehicle occupants. The automaker has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to exempt many of its vehicles from the Takata airbag recall.
Consumers’ Request for Repairs Denied
The news report mentions one driver, Frank Llewellyn, who had discovered that his 11-year-old 2007 GMC Yukon was included in the Takata recall after his airbag light suddenly illuminated two yeas ago. But, he says, there is no fix available to consumers like him because GM is petitioning NHTSA to exempt many of their vehicles from this recall claiming that the airbags in certain trucks and SUVs don’t pose an “unreasonable risk to safety.”
Another driver, Jane Pulliam, told NBC she is going through the same issue with her 2011 Chevy Silverado. She received a recall notice in the mail from GM in 2016. But, when she went to her local dealership for a repair, she was turned down. She was told there was no problem and that there have been “only 11 incidents.”
GM maintains the inflators in these trucks, which have not ruptured in the field or during ballistic testing, will continue to function safely for decades, even in high humidity and high-temperature areas where the Takata airbags have failed and caused the most devastating crashes.
GM Should Put Safety First
Takata has already admitted that the airbags are faulty. At this juncture, it is unacceptable for GM to deny repairs to consumers, particularly to those who have received recall notices in the mail. Even if GM’s data shows that there is relatively lower risk, the automaker should eliminate all risks from this airbag for consumers. It has that duty and responsibility to consumers. GM should step up to the plate and fix these defective airbags, period.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective Takata airbag, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries, damages and losses you have suffered. Please contact an experienced auto product liability lawyer who will fight for your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.