Since 1998, all vehicles sold in America are required to be equipped with airbags. Like safety belts, airbags are a vehicle occupant-restraint system designed to protect drivers and passengers in the event of a collision. Ironically, the same airbags that are meant to protect us can cause serious injury when they don’t function properly.
Defective Airbag Injuries
An airbag system consists of an airbag cushion, a flexible fabric bag, an inflation module, and an impact sensor. They are designed to inflate quickly during a collision and then deflate quickly afterward. When they function as designed, they can help prevent serious injury during an accident. However, a defective airbag can be less than useless during an accident and may even result in additional injuries, including:
- Chemical burns
- Skin burns
- Facial injuries
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI),
- Back and spinal injuries
- Injuries to the lower extremities
Airbag Defects That Can Cause Injuries
Since their introduction almost 30 years ago, there have been many design and manufacturer defects that have been the cause of serious injuries. These include:
- Failure to deploy (leading to more serious injuries than what might have occurred had the airbag deployed properly)
- Airbag inflates too slowly or not enough to protect the occupant
- Airbag overinflates and explodes
- Random deployment
- Impact sensor defects
- Improper installment (causing the airbag to deploy at the wrong angle)
- Airbag has a hole or other defect that prevents it from fully inflating or inflating at all
Takata Airbag Injuries
While many airbag defects have made the news in the past decade, one of the biggest has been centered around the Takata Corporation, the Japanese auto parts manufacturer that produces the airbags used in a number of automobiles on U.S. roads. Many of their airbags have been recalled due to defects that cause their airbags to explode when deployed. These accidents have caused injuries and death all over the country.
Some of the makes and models included in the Takata airbag recall include:
- 2003 Acura 3.2CL
- 2013-2015 BMW X1
- 2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade
- 2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche
- 2006-2015 Dodge Charger
- 2005-2014 Ford Mustang
- 2001-2012 Honda Accord
- 2007-2016 Jeep Wrangler
- 2012-2016 Tesla Model S
- 2003-2013 Toyota Corolla
For a full list of all the cars in the recall, and more information about what to do if your car is equipped with a potentially defective Takata airbag, visit the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association’s Takata Recall Spotlight page here.
There May Be Many Parties Responsible for Your Airbag Defect Injuries
Recovering compensation after a defective airbag accident is more complicated than filing a personal injury claim with an insurance company. Multiple parties may be responsible for the defects in the airbag that caused your injuries, including the designers, manufacturers, installers, etc. of the airbag.
To obtain the total amount of compensation for your injuries, it’s important to identify all the parties responsible for your injuries. You need a personal injury attorney with extensive experience in product liability and manufacturer liability personal injury claims.
Speak to a Manhattan Beach Product Liability Lawyer
If you’ve been injured by a defective airbag in California, state law gives you the right to seek compensation for the damages caused by your injuries.
Manhattan Beach personal injury lawyer Scott Dinsmore has been protecting the rights of people who have been injured due to a manufacturer’s carelessness and negligence. He’s successfully represented clients all over LA’s South Bay area, including Manhattan Beach, Gardena, Hermosa Beach, Hawthorne, Redondo Beach, and Torrance. Contact the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore without delay to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your airbag accident.