Federal Officials Expand Investigation into Millions of Vehicles Over Airbag Failure
About five million vehicles, different makes and models, could be affected by a recall that has been set in motion by Continental Automotive Systems. According to an MLive news report, the parts supplier filed documents with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which state that certain airbag control modules can be damaged when moisture gets inside. If the computers break, the airbags could either fail to deploy during a crash or could inadvertently deploy and cause a crash.
Several Models and Makes Involved
Honda has recalled 364,787 Accord sedans from the 2008-2010 model years and Fiat Chrysler announced Thursday it’s recalling 112,001 Dodge Journeys from 2009 and Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans from 2008 and 2009.Honda reported two injuries tied to this airbag safety defect and Fiat Chrysler reported seven non-life-threatening injuries related to this defect. Mercedes also recalled 126,260 C-Series cars from 2008 and 2009 and GLK350 vehicles from 2010 last year due to the issue.
When the recall begins, automakers will fix the computers at no charge to customers, assuming parts are readily available. If you are not sure if your vehicle is involved visit vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin to plug in your car’s vehicle identification number. If you car is involved in the recall, it will come up on the site.
Airbag Recalls and Liability Issues
Officials say this recall is not connected with the defective airbag inflators manufactured by Takata Corp. That recall so far includes about 24 million vehicles and 14 car manufacturers. With the Takata airbag recalls, the chemical propellant that ignites the airbag inflators can become explosive when damaged, sending metal pieces to the passenger compartment. These airbags have been linked to at least 11 deaths and 139 injuries.
Airbags are meant to protect drivers and passengers. However, when these safety devices are defective, they can cause more harm than good. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective or malfunctioning airbag that doesn’t deploy or has deployed inadvertently, then, you can hold the automaker and/or component manufacturer liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. An experienced auto product liability attorney can help victims and their families in such cases better understand their legal rights and options.