Articles Posted in Airbag Claims

Over the past year, our Florida product liability attorneys have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people calling us with potential product liability claims. Florida has strict liability laws for products that cause injuries to our resident. Our product injury lawyers can make claims on your behalf if you are injured as a result of a defective product. If you were injured by a product, call us at 800-337-7755 for a free consultation, or submit your question online.

Several different government agencies regulate products to help protect the public.

Consumer Products

According to their website, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Each year, many defective products are recalled by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.001-224x300

Drugs, Medical Devices and Food

The Food and Drug Administration, according to its website, has a Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) which is responsible for regulating firms who manufacture, repackage, relabel, and/or import medical devices sold in the United States. In addition, CDRH also regulates radiation-emitting electronic products (medical and non-medical) such as lasers, x-ray systems, ultrasound equipment, microwave ovens and color televisions. The FDA also regulates food products, and also pharmaceutical drugs.

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A Special Master appointed by Federal Judge Moreno of the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida overseeing the Takata defective airbag lawsuits recommended this week that Judge Moreno order BMW to search its complaint, claims, and lawsuit databases for documents relating to incidents of non-deployment in BMW’s recalled vehicles equipped with Takata airbags.

Honda airbag completely detached from steering wheel after explosion.

Honda airbag completely detached from steering wheel after explosion.

The question before the Special Master arose from a document discovery dispute over whether requests by the Plaintiffs were related to their claims, or whether they were likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. As noted by the Special Master, the Plaintiffs claim that the airbags “have an unreasonably dangerous tendency to: (a) rupture and expel metal shrapnel that tears through the airbag and poses a threat of serious injury or death to occupants; (b) hyper-aggressively deploy and seriously injure occupants through contact with the airbag; and (c) fail to deploy altogether.”

HondaSteeringWheel

Just two weeks ago, a Fort Lauderdale man broke his jaw when the Takata airbag console in his 2001 Honda Accord literally exploded, detached from the steering wheel, and struck him in the face. My law firm has been retained to represent the victim.

For nearly 2 years, I have been advocating for a complete wipeout of all 2001-2004 Honda Civics and Honda Accords from operation unless their airbags are replaced. It is mind-boggling that we have not done so yet. A significant majority of the injury and death claims were in these vehicles, yet claims continue to come in.

Honda and Takata have access to many vehicle owners. Florida, for example, keeps a database. A simple request could provide Honda and Takata with the name and address of the vehicle registrants. They claim to mail notice letters, but those notice letters could get lost in the mail or inadvertently thrown out with other spam mail. In fact, many vehicle owners claimed to first receive a recall notice after their accident.

If a company puts a potentially deadly product in your car and knows it must be replaced or could kill or injure you, I don’t think a tv ad or mailing a letter is enough. At this point, I think it is prudent to take all affected vehicles off the road until they are deemed safe.

There is no reason Honda or Takata can’t start knocking on the doors of vehicle owners or try to find the affected vehicles and maybe put a giant red sticker on the window if they can, something apparent to let the operator know the vehicle is unsafe.

We already have laws in many states requiring vehicles to have a certain level of safety in order for it to be permitted to operate on our public roads. Look at these photos. Read the reports of injuries and death. At what point will we say enough is enough and make it unlawful to drive a vehicle with a recalled airbag. The operator is not just putting himself or herself in danger, but every occupant in their car.

I think it is time for an independent study to be sanctioned to see which vehicles are most susceptible to airbag rupture and make those a priority to get fixed or off the roads. Let’s stop focusing on geographic areas. Cars travel. Location may not be the best indicator. When we look at the vehicles, my suspicion is that a large percentage of airbag ruptures come from 2001-2004 Honda Civics and Accords. If so, I think we need to get everyone of these vehicles off the roads to prevent more people from getting hurt or killed.

Honda airbag completely detached from steering wheel after explosion.

How Do We Prevent Future Airbag Ruptures?

Over the last 2 years, I’ve been developing an airbag system capable of inspection prior to an accident. Imagine getting your oil changed and having your airbag inspected at the same time.

Many ruptured airbags we’ve seen showed signs of defect or post installation changes which could have been detected prior to the accident. For example, the canisters are often metal. If not adequately treated, or over time, the metal may rust. This rust may impact the integrity of the canister.

When moisture gets into the canister, it can contact the explosive. That contact can cause the explosive tablet to increase in size and push against the metal canister. Over time, the outside of the metal canister may show signs of expansion and could change size, almost like stretching the metal.

I think it is also time to mandate routine airbag inspections beyond just confirming that there is an airbag or that the airbag light is not on. Many major airbag components are already routinely inspected. Brake pads are inspected and repaired, tires are rotated and changed, oil is changed, belts get replaced, engines get serviced, and other parts get checked.

Will We Ever Have A Total Recall?

Some media have reported on the possibility of a total Takata airbag recall. The more Takata fights these airbag injury and warranty claims, the longer it may take to come to a solution.

http://www.salon.com/2016/02/17/as_deaths_rise_so_do_chances_of_total_takata_air_bag_recall/

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As deaths rise, so do chances of total Takata air bag recall

 

A lot of people have inquired lately whether their airbag has been recalled by the car companies. Vehicles with potentially defective airbags may be dangerous and could kill or injure vehicle occupants as a result of even a minor car accident. While the list may continue to grow, there are an estimated 34 million vehicles may be subject to recall for driver’s side or passenger airbags that may not work properly. NHTSA recently posted the vehicles which may be recalled. Check safercar.gov for the latest updates.

List of Vehicles Recalled for Defective Airbag

  • 2007-2008 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 and 3500
  • 2006-2008 Dodge Sprinter 2500 and 3500
  • 2003-2008 Mazda 6
  • 2004-2008 Mazda RX-8
  • 2006-2007 Mazda speed 6
  • 2001-2007 Honda Accord
  • 2003-2007 Honda Accord L4
  • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
  • 2002-2006 Honda CR-V
  • 2003-2011 Honda Element
  • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003-2008 Honda Pilot
  • 2006 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2003 Acura CL
  • 2003-2006 Acura MDX
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2005-2014 Ford Mustang
  • 2005-2006 Ford GT
  • 2007-2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500
  • 2007-2008 GMC Sierra 2500/3500
  • 2004-2005 Subaru Impreza Sedan/Station Wagon
  • 2005 Saab 9-2x
  • 2004-2006 Mitsubishi Lancer/Lancer Evolution
  • 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
  • 2004-2006 Ford Ranger
  • 2002-2005 BMW 325i/325xi/330i/330xi Sedan
  • 2002-2005 BMW 325xi/325i Sports Wagon
  • 2002-2006 BMW 330Ci/325Ci/M3 Convertible
  • 2002-2006 BMW 325i/330i/M3 Coupe
  • 2002-2003 BMW M5/540i/525i/530i Sedan
  • 2002-2003 BMW 540i/525i Sports Wagon
  • 2003-2004 BMW X5 3.0i/4.4i Sports Activity Vehicle
  • 2005-2009 Dodge Ram 2500 Pickup
  • 2004-2008 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup
  • 2006-2009 Dodge Ram 3500 Pickup
  • 2007-2009 Dodge Ram 3500 Cab Chassis
  • 2008-2010 Dodge Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis
  • 2008-2009 Sterling 4500/5500 Cab Chassis
  • 2004-2008 Dodge Durango
  • 2007-2008 Chrysler Aspen
  • 2005-2010 Chrysler 300/300C/SRT8
  • 2005-2010 Dodge Charger/Magnum
  • 2005-2011 Dodge Dakota
  • 2006-2010 Mitsubishi Raider
  • 2003 Dodge Ram 1500/2500/3500
  • 2008-2009 Sterling Bullet 4500/5500 Chassis Cab (Sterling-Badged Dodge Ram)
  • 2004-2006 Mazda B-Series Pickup
  • 2002-2007 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2003-2006 Toyota Tundra
  • 2003-2007 Toyota Corolla
  • 2003-2007 Toyota Corolla Matrix
  • 2003-2007 Pontiac Vibe
  • 2002-2007 Lexus SC vehicles
  • 2003-2007 Lexus SC430 convertible

What could happen if I have an accident and my airbags are defective?

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A recent Consent Order filed by NHTSA, stated that on February 7, 2014, GM notified NHTSA that it determined that a defect, which relates to motor vehicle safety, exists in 619,122 model year (“MY”) 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and MY 2007 Pontiac G5 vehicles. According to GM’s Part 573 Report, the safety- related defect concerns a condition in which the vehicle’s ignition switch may unintentionally move from the “run” position to the “accessory” or “off” position resulting in a loss of power.Pontiac Saturn Chevy Defect

GM indicated that this risk may be increased if the key ring is carrying added weight or the vehicle goes off road or experiences some other impact related event. GM also indicated that in some cases, the timing of the ignition switch movement relative to the activation of the sensing algorithm of the crash event may result in the airbags not deploying.

There is a serious risk of accidental death and bodily harm for those still driving around in a car that has been recalled.

Our office recently announced that we have been retained to represent a 16 year old boy injured when shrapnel from the airbag of a 2002 Honda Civic shot out and stabbed him in the face following a car accident. The accident occurred in Texas in June, 2015. The airbag is believed to be manufactured by Takata, a company at the forefront of one of the largest recalls in US history.

A claim has now been filed with Honda and Takata. Our airbag attorneys already represents several other airbag injury cases against Honda and Takata, the airbag’s alleged manufacturer. “We are extremely concerned that these airbags continue to rupture and put the public in danger. The longer it takes to recall all defective airbags, the more chance people can get hurt or killed,” said Jason Turchin, lead airbag attorney in the case.

airbag shrapnel bullet holes

Airbag showing holes where shrapnel shot through

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