At least three Japanese automakers are recalling as many 3.4 million vehicles around the world, because of the possibility that airbag systems in these automobiles could injure passengers.
The automobiles are being recalled by Toyota Motor Corp. Nissan Motor Corp. and Honda. This is believed to be the largest recall involving air bags manufactured by Japanese manufacturer, Takata. This company is one of the largest manufacturers of airbags and seat belts in the world.
According to the companies involved, the recall is linked to possible defects in the airbag for the front passenger seat that may cause the airbag to not inflate properly at the time of an accident. As a result of this failure, there is a serious risk that the airbag may catch fire, causing injuries to passengers. So far, there have been no reports of any injuries or fatalities linked to the defective airbags.
The size of the recalls underscores a growing problem in the auto industry, which companies have failed to address. The fact is that many components and parts in automobiles are now sourced from a small exclusive pool of suppliers, and when there is a defect, it affects massive numbers of automobiles, placing millions of consumers and motorists at risk.
According to Tokyo-based Takata, the company’s airbags and seat belts can be found in a number of major automakers’ cars, including those manufactured by Ford and Daimler AG. However, the company has not confirmed whether these automakers’ cars also contain the defective airbags.
This massive recall is the latest in a series of airbag-related recalls that have seriously disturbed Indiana product liability attorneys. In fact, 2012 is believed to have been a record year for airbag recalls, with more than 20 airbag recalls announced last year alone.
Consumers who buy cars equipped with airbags rely very heavily on these devices to protect them from injuries in an accident. Defective airbags don’t just fail to protect passengers from injuries, but could also actually increase the risk of injuries.
There are three ways that airbags can malfunction, causing injuries to passengers. They may fail to deploy, seriously exposing drivers and passengers to the risk of serious injuries or fatalities in accidents. In other cases, they may be deployed inadvertently, or when there is no accident, again exposing passengers to injury risk. In the third scenario, airbags may deploy shooting out pieces of debris, and metal into the person’s face and head, causing serious puncture wounds, lacerations, and other injuries. All of the three situations are equally dangerous, and pose a serious threat to drivers and passengers.
The Indiana product liability attorneys at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy LLP represent persons who have been injured by defective airbags, defective tires, and other malfunctioning auto components across Indiana. If you have been injured by the use of a defective product, speak with an attorney at our firm.