Hyundai Motor Company has issued a vehicle defect recall for about 5,200 Azera sedans in the United States to address a problem where the airbag may deploy with lesser or greater force than needed in an accident. According to a Reuters news report, the South Korean automaker is recalling 2102 and 2013 model Azera sedans because the occupant detection system may fail to properly differentiate whether the front-seat occupant is an adult, child or an occupant in a child restraint seat. As a result, the airbags could deploy with the incorrect amount of force leading to increased risk of injury.
Hyundai has determined that a modification in the fabric material on the sensor mat could affect the sensor’s ability to properly classify an occupant, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Officials said that a review of warranty claims found many instances showing that the airbag warning light had illuminated with a diagnostic code for a wet seat. When the recall begins, the automaker will notify owners and recalibrate the airbag system at no cost to consumers.
Defective Airbag Issues
Although airbags are important safety features in vehicles that can be life saving, defective airbags can end up doing greater harm than good. For example, when an airbag fails to deploy, occupants may suffer severe blunt force trauma. When an airbag deploys suddenly with too much force, it can cause serious injuries as well. Small people or children are likely to be more injured due to airbags deploying with excessive force. Airbag sensors are often responsible for defective airbags. This is because faulty signals can cause airbags to deploy when not necessary or fail to deploy in the event of a crash.
In such cases, injured victims can file what is known as a product liability claim against the automaker and/or the supplier. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress. If a family has lost a loved one as the result of a defective auto, then they may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the automaker. An experienced auto product liability lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.