Drivers in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and across the U.S. are being urged by automakers to check their vehicles for airbag recalls as another death was confirmed this month related to a Takata airbag inflator. The vehicle involved in the fatality, a 2006 Ford Ranger pickup truck, was part of a major recall and issued an urgent “do not drive” warning in 2018. It had yet to undergo repairs. Additional fatalities believed to be caused by malfunctioning airbags recently prompted Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) to issue an urgent “do not drive” order for certain 2005-2010 motor vehicles. Makes and models include the Dodge Charger, Magnum, and Challenger, and the Chrysler 300. The company is urging drivers of these cars who have not yet undergone a vehicle inspection in accordance with previous recall campaigns to not operate the vehicle until they have it inspected and repaired as deemed necessary. Attorney David Tapalian has helped clients throughout RI and MA who have been injured in auto accidents due to airbags and vehicle malfunctions. A faulty airbag can cause serious personal injury and even death. While airbags save the lives of thousands each year in car crashes, a defective airbag can dangerously put a driver and passengers in harm’s way.
Why are Some Airbags Dangerous?
Over time, when exposed to high heat and humid conditions, it’s been shown the metal parts inside the defective airbag may rupture. These explosions of shrapnel can result in severe injuries or death to the driver and/or their passengers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed at least 22 deaths in the U.S. due to defective Takata airbag inflators, and over 400 alleged injuries. Takata supplied these defective airbags to a large number of automakers, resulting in one of the biggest recalls in U.S. history. According to the NHTSA, approximately 67 million air bags are included in the recall in tens of millions of vehicles.
Older vehicles with the malfunctioning apparatus, as well as those in warmer weather, are deemed riskier and more prone to explosion. If you’ve been hurt in an auto accident caused by a faulty airbag, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer like Attorney David Tapalian. Tapalian Law can help you determine what steps to take after your RI, MA, or FL car accident.
Is My Car Part of the Takata Airbag Recall?
Motorists are urged to check their vehicle immediately to determine if it is part of an airbag recall, or any other type of recall. The NHTSA offers an online recall tool that uses a vehicle’s VIN to determine if the vehicle is part of a recall and requires repairs. Owners can also contact the manufacturer or their local dealer directly. Auto manufacturers urge those with cars and trucks included in the Takata recall to park the vehicle and immediately contact the dealer for a free repair. Every airbag recall must be replaced, however the year, make, and model of your vehicle will determine its immediacy. For instance, older vehicles are a top priority since their airbags are more likely to have long-term exposure to hot and humid conditions, making the equipment more prone to a dangerous explosion. Cars and trucks being operated in warmer climates, such as Florida, also pose a higher safety risk.
A large number of auto manufacturers were supplied defective airbags by Takata, including, but not limited to, certain makes and models by Dodge, Chrysler, Honda, Mazda, Acura, and Ford. Even if you do not own one of these models, all automobile owners are urged to conduct a search periodically to determine if their car or truck is involved in any type of recall.
Types of Airbag Injuries
As seen in the multitude of fatalities and injuries related to defective airbags, auto accident injuries run the gamut from fatal or life-threatening, to minor bumps and bruises. Even if an airbag is not defective, when it deploys it can prevent injury, but it can also cause harm. Some common injuries related to airbags include cuts and bruises, burns, injuries to the eye or face, hearing loss, and respiratory issues from the chemicals released when the equipment deploys. More often however, it’s important to note that when in proper working condition, airbags can effectively prevent innumerable injuries and deaths.
Contact an Injury Lawyer if You are Hurt in a Car Crash
If you’ve been involved in any type of auto accident in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, or Florida, seek expert advice from a highly regarded and knowledge personal injury attorney at Tapalian Law. Well-versed in all aspects of personal injury law, Attorney David Tapalian has been helping clients for over 20 years throughout RI, MA, and FL. When someone else is at fault for your injuries and vehicle damage, you need to ensure you are compensated fairly for your losses. Contact Tapalian Law to schedule a free consultation to discuss your auto accident injuries, or call our Providence RI office at 401-552-5000, to let us begin helping you.