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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

Airbag Recalls & Product Liability

by Jared Staver in Personal Injury

Across the nation, millions of drivers are wondering whether their car contains one of the Takata airbags that are the subject of a safety recall. If your car might be on the list, the recall is something to take seriously. The problem with the airbags involves inflator and propeller components that might expel metal fragments when the airbags deploy in a crash and potentially cause serious harm to occupants of the vehicle.

Flying metal shrapnel could cause serious lacerations or other injuries. If shrapnel strikes a major artery, the person could bleed to death. A New York Times article from earlier this year reported that there have been two deaths and 139 injuries associated with this particular manufacturer’s airbags in the last decade. That might seem like a small number given the 7.8 million vehicles affected by the recall, but when it’s your family hurt a small statistic isn’t much comfort.

The airbags are used in numerous makes and models of vehicles going back to 2000, including BMWs, Chryslers, Fords, GMs, Hondas, Mazdas, Mitsubishis, Nissans, Subarus, and Toyotas. A full list of years and models is available on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

If you have your vehicle’s VIN, the website also contains a link so that you can search whether your specific vehicle is part of the recall and you need to have your airbag replaced. Vehicle owners also may be contacted by the vehicle manufacturer with a letter explaining the recall and what you should do.

For the most part, airbags reduce the risk of injury and increase your chance of surviving a car crash. However, when they don’t work the way they’re supposed to, airbags can be dangerous and cause life-threatening injuries. Injuries may be caused when airbags deploy in low-speed crashes when they may not be needed to cushion an impact, or they may fail to deploy when they should. In other circumstances, an airbag may rupture or, as in the Takata recall, emit dangerous shrapnel when deployed.

When the occupant of a vehicle is injured by an airbag, a personal injury claim may help get medical bills paid, help you recover lost wages, or allow you to receive payment for your pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, or loss of normal life.

If you’ve been injured by an airbag, regardless of whether it was subject to a recall, the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation today.