For over a year now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been studying a growing number of reports that Takata airbag inflators are exploding in cars in Pennsylvania and across the country. In fact, products liability claims may be lining up across the world as injuries and deaths are attributed to the faulty airbags. The NHTSA has now expanded its investigation to include a second brand of inflators linked to explosions, which could result in a massive recall.
The inflators are designed to activate the airbags with a high-pressure mixture of gas and ammonium nitrate. However, the defective airbags expand with such force that they send shards of metal into the faces of those in the vehicles’ passenger compartments. Worldwide, the explosions are linked to 13 deaths and over 100 injuries.
Initially, about 490,000 vehicles were believed to contain the defected airbag inflators. However, the investigation now extends to over 100 million cars, including those made by General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai and Kia. Since the designs of the two types of inflators are different, investigators are working to learn the exact cause of the explosions.
Airbags have become an important safety measure that consumers rely on when they invest in a vehicle. As the investigation into the inflators continues, the NHTSA is likely to find dangerous airbags in other manufacturer’s vehicles. Consumers may not receive recall notices until it is too late. People in Pennsylvania who have been injured by defective airbags are contacting their attorneys to discuss products liability claims.
This blog entry was posted on behalf of Hof & Reid LLC, and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.
Source: reuters.com, “U.S. expands investigation of 8 million air bag inflators after fatal crash“, David Shepardson, August 4, 2016