Mercedes-Benz has issued a vehicle defect recall for about 126,000 vehicles in the United States, which could have potential problems with airbags.
According to a news report in The New York Times, the automaker said a control unit in these vehicles’ airbags could malfunction. They may not deploy in the event of a crash or they might deploy inadvertently, even when the vehicle is not involved in a collision.
The recall covers 2008-9 C300, C350 and C63 AMG models, as well as the 2010 GLK350. So far, Mercedes says it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this particular airbag defect.
The German automaker said it learned in 2013 of some airbags in vehicles deploying without a crash. However, those vehicles were outside the U.S. So, the automaker determined that the problem was limited to European vehicles. Last year, three inadvertent airbag deployments were reported in the United States. But, the investigations on those vehicles were complicated by the fact that the vehicles either had flood damage or had been involved in a prior crash. It wasn’t until last month that Mercedes concluded that a recall had become necessary.
Slew of Airbag Problems
Over the last year, a number of automakers have issued recalls due to airbag defects. A majority of those vehicles, about 19 million, were equipped with Takata airbags that could explode in a crash and injure vehicle occupants with shards of flying metal. Last month, Fiat Chrysler recalled about 316,000 vehicles whose airbags might deploy inadvertently. Honda also recalled about 300,000 vehicles because the airbags might deploy if a door was “forcefully slammed” while the key was in the ignition.
Responsibility of Automakers
Federal safety regulations mandate that manufacturers must inform the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about safety problems within five business days or face civil fines. A number of automakers routinely drag their feet when it comes to recalls, putting consumers in harm’s way. Automakers and manufacturers of all products have a legal obligation to make products that are safe for consumers.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective airbag or any other defective auto product, it is important that you contact an experienced auto product liability attorney who will fight hard to protect your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses. Injured victims in such cases may be entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering while families of deceased victims can seek compensation for their losses by filing a wrongful death claim.