Hyundai is recalling 154,753 of its 2011 Sonata sedans because their front and side airbags and seatbelts may not work in the event of a car accident. According to a Consumer Reports article, the problem with the airbags involves a potential short circuit that could prevent them from inflating. The seatbelts have an issue with their pretensioners, which are supposed to make passengers more secure by removing excess slack in the belt during a crash. Hyundai says it is aware of three vehicles involved in crashes where the airbag failed to deploy.
A fix for this problem is not yet available and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the automaker is still working on it. The recall is expected to begin April 20. Owners are asked to contact Hyundai’s customer service department at 855-371-9460. If you’d like to check if your vehicle is included in this recall, visit NHTSA’s website and enter your 17-digit vehicle identification number.
Importance of Safety Devices
Vehicles are equipped with safety devices such as seatbelts and airbags so that occupants can have that protection in the event of a crash. However, when airbags or seatbelts fail to work during a car accident, the consequences of such failure could be devastating. When occupants are not protected by a seat restraint system, they could get thrown around the vehicle or worse, get ejected from the vehicle. This could result in catastrophic head injury or spinal cord trauma. When an airbag fails to deploy, occupants may suffer severe blunt force trauma injuries as well.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Automakers have a duty and obligation to consumers to make vehicles that are safe and crashworthy, which means they must have the ability to reasonably protect consumers in the event of a car accident. If you have been injured in a car accident as the result of a defective auto, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization and pain and suffering.
Families who have lost loved ones due to defective vehicles or vehicle parts can file what is known as a wrongful death lawsuit. Such lawsuits seek compensation for damages such as funeral costs, medical expenses, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. An experienced auto defect lawyer can help injured victims and their families secure maximum compensation for their losses.