The U.S. government is investigating complaints that airbag control computers in some Jeep Liberty SUVs can fail preventing the airbags from properly deploying in the event of a car accident. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, The probe includes about 105,000 of the vehicles from the 2012 model year. So far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 44 complaints about the problem involving a computer that detects crashes and controls airbag deployment. So far, no injuries or deaths have been reported in connection with this vehicle defect.
Several Consumer Complaints
Fiat Chrysler has said it is cooperating with the investigation and that the only safety device affected is a headrest that moves to prevent injuries if a crash happens. Many consumers told NHTSA that an airbag warning light came on. In some cases, the issue was fixed by replacing the computer, while others said they continued to drive their SUVs with the light on.
One owner said in a complaint that the light came on and he took the SUV to a dealer, but was told that he would have to pay to fix the problem. One other consumer said that this was a safety issue that should have been covered by the manufacturer. Others said the repairs cost them anywhere between $375 and $500. NHTSA has said it will investigate how often the problem occurs and examine the potential safety consequences. The agency could then seek a recall or determine that there is no safety defect.
Vehicle Recalls and Liability Issues
In 2016, U.S. automakers set a record by recalling 53.2 million vehicles for a variety of safety defects. Last year, we saw the most recalls of any single year surpassing the previous all-time high of 51.1 million set just one year before, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. What is more concerning is that there are roughly 63 million recalled vehicles that have yet to be repaired.
Airbag defects can result in serious or even life-threatening injuries. When airbags fail to deploy properly during a crash, occupants are left unprotected. This could result in traumatic injuries including brain injury, spinal cord damage, multiple broken bones and internal organ trauma.
If you have been injured as the result of a defective product, you may be able to receive compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. It would be in victims’ best interests to retain the services of an experienced auto defect law firm that has a stellar track record of holding negligent automakers accountable and helping the injured secure maximum compensation for their losses.