Auto safety regulators are investigating another deadly airbag situation that could impact up to 8 million vehicles. Anyone involved in an airbag related incident is encouraged to contact a product liability attorney.
National Highway Safety Traffic Administration and Transport Canada are looking into the possibility of an expanded airbag recall after a fatality in July. A woman was killed in an automobile accident after an airbag inflator exploded in the Canadian province of Newfoundland. A formal investigation of airbags made by Tennessee supplier ARC Automotive is underway, raising questions — particularly among product liability attorney — about the safety of Chrysler, Kia, Hyundai and General Motors cars manufactured before 2004.
An expansive recall is already underway for airbags made by Takata, another airbag manufacturer. Linked to more than 100 injuries and at least 14 deaths, Takata has seen fourteen automakers recall the company’s airbag inflators. This has resulted in approximately 64 million vehicle recalls just within the United States, and millions more elsewhere. Although the results are similar between the two manufacturers, the underlying problem is different.
Authorities say that the Canadian woman was involved in a low-speed collision on July 8 when the ARC inflator fractured and sent metal shrapnel into the passenger side of the 2009 Hyundai Elantra she was driving. Canadian officials believe that the woman would have survived if it weren’t for the shrapnel injuries. Now the focus is on what caused the inflator to rupture, with many people turning to product liability attorney to see what liability manufacturers have in such cases.
In 2009, another woman contended with serious injuries after her Town and Country minivan collided with a snowmobile. After consulting with a product liability attorney, the woman noted that she had seen a cloud of white smoke and flash of white after impact. ARC and Takata acknowledge using ammonium nitrate in their airbag inflators, a compound that can deteriorate over time, particularly in situations of high humidity. Additionally, ARC uses an inert gas mixture located in the airbag inflator at high pressure. However, the safety agency purports that humidity likely did not contribute to the most recent incident.
Although the Elantra’s airbag inflators were made in China, the device is nearly identical to at least one other model used in the United States, that of the 2004 Optima, according to the NHSTA. Hyundai pointed out that the 2009 Elantra made in the United States uses a two-stage airbag inflator, unlike the single-stage one used in the Canadian version. The company is fully cooperating with authorities in both countries to discover the cause of the defect.
Meanwhile, product liability attorneys are helping frantic consumers understand their rights should their airbag implode. The important thing to remember, note such attorneys, is that big companies have an obligation to engineer and manufacture products that keep customers safe. Product liability lawyers have access to a large database of expert witnesses to help victims. While each case is different and the amount of compensation varies according to individual cases, attorneys can often pursue compensation related to:
Diminished earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Funeral costs, in instances of wrongful deaths caused by defective products
Keep in mind that no defective product lawyer can guarantee you a specific compensation amount. However, the professionals at GOM Law offer free, no-obligation consultations to discuss individual circumstances. They can discuss your situation and provide a general overview of what you can expect should you decide to pursue legal action. If you or a loved one has been injured in an airbag-related incident, please consult the product liability attorneys at GOM Law for your free consultation so that you can better understand your rights when it comes to defective products.