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Injury and Death From Recalled Airbags

In April of 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a recall on “certain models” of the 2003 Honda Civic IMA airbags. According to the notice letter sent to vehicle owners:

“The replacement driver front airbag inflator was previously installed on your vehicle, either from an airbag inflator recall repair, or as a part of a driver front airbag module installed as a replacement service part.[The] inflator could produce excessive internal pressure upon deployment. If a defective airbag deploys, the increased internal pressure may cause the inflator to explode. In the event of an [explosion], metal fragments could pass through the airbag… and into your vehicle interior at a high speed, potentially causing serious injury or death…”

Vehicle Equipment Recalls and Resulting Injuries

Any car accident can be fatal. It’s simply a calculated risk that all drivers take when they get on the road.

Imagine, however, that a minor fender bender resulted in the safety components in your vehicle exploding and killing you. This has been the case for several victims of over-pressurized airbag inflators.

A few years ago, a case in Charleston, South Carolina was brought to civil litigation after one such near fatal accident occurred. While she was driving, a woman was involved in a minor rear-end accident. Her airbag deployed and the inflator exploded, shooting shrapnel into her neck and cutting her artery.

In this case, the woman survived, but others have not been as lucky. There are multiple accounts of drivers being fatally injured by fragments of metal turned into projectiles by the very equipment designed to save their lives.

An Ounce of Prevention Can Save Your Life

In the Honda Civic airbag recall notification, the NHTSA gave directions on how to have the potentially defective parts replaced. Car owners with models carrying the potentially explosive airbag inflators were instructed to go to their nearest dealer, where the airbag assembly would be fitted with new, safer parts.

Airbag manufacturers, such as Takata, and car companies that installed the defective inflators, are ultimately at fault for any and all deaths or injuries. There is no doubt, however, that some of these tragedies could have been avoided if car owners had taken their vehicles to be repaired.

The lesson learned is that every vehicle owner should always pay attention to any recall notice released. Notices can be found on the NHTSA website at the Safety Issues and Recalls webpage.

Car Part Recalls and Personal Injury Lawsuits

Few people understand that a defective car part recall is only issued when enough of the same car part fail in multiple instances. If only a marginal number of the parts fail, a notification may never be released.

When a recall is issued, this doesn’t absolve the car parts or vehicle manufacturers from legal action. In many cases, a vehicle that has been resold may not come with the information needed to notify the buyer. If an owner changed their address since the purchase of their car, the notice may not make it to them.

Whatever the case, when these parts fail and that failure can be proven, victims should seek civil action. Manufacturing defects are the responsibility of the manufacturer and, recall or no, those who were hurt deserve to be compensated. This compensation can include:

• Medical bills

• Future medical bills

• Physical rehabilitation

• Lost wages due to missed work

• Future lost wages

• Pain and suffering

• Mental anguish

• Wrongful death damages

    o Funeral and burial expenses

    o Emotional distress

    o Loss of deceased wages

    o Loss of companionship

• Punitive damages

Find a Car Accident Personal Injury Attorney in Charleston, SC

If you were injured by a defective or recalled vehicle part, you need to find legal representation right away. The Hartman Law Firm, LLC provides legal assistance for those who have suffered from these injuries. Their legal expertise rivals the best around.

When you need a car accident attorney, Frank Hartman will fight for fair and reasonable compensation for your injuries.

To get started, call Frank 24/7 at (843) 300-7600. Or, you can contact him online, or email him at james@thehartmanlawfirm.com. The sooner you get Frank on your case, the sooner you’ll get your settlement and start on the road to recovery.

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