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Could your vehicle’s safety features be dangerous?

| Mar 4, 2016 | Products Liabililty

All who used their vehicles to get from one place to another in the Raleigh area are likely aware that one focus for carmakers is building vehicles that are designed to keep passengers as safe as possible. Accordingly, certain safety features are standard in all vehicles currently manufactured. One of those features is airbags.

Unfortunately, in some cases it is possible those very devices might actually be a hazard to vehicle occupants. Thus far, defects in airbags made by Takata are responsible for more than 100 injuries and 10 deaths. While approximately 28 million airbag inflators have been recalled, not all cars potentially containing the defect have been recalled.

According to a report commissioned by multiple automakers, and issued by Orbital ATK, the use of the propellant ammonium nitrate plays a role. When the vehicle with the airbag containing this compound is exposed, over time , to hot and humid weather, moisture can seep into defective airbag inflators. This can result in the inflators breaking apart in an explosion, inflicting serious damage to those in close proximity.

The report further determined that after issues began to arise a few years ago, Takata falsified and presented test data to Honda, concerning a new, experimental design, which was ultimately never used. In addition, the report uncovered an internal memo written by a manager that indicated inaccurate information was used in determining the scope of a recall.

Worried that the airbags yet to be recalled could pose danger to vehicle passengers, some lawmakers are seeking to have the United States government recall all remaining vehicles that contain the propellant ammonium nitrate. Takata currently has until the end of 2018 to show that the propellant isn’t contributing to the problem.

Whether lawmakers will be successful is not yet clear. It is important that those who are hurt or lose a loved one because of this issue are aware that they may be able to recoup damages via a lawsuit. Please see our website to learn more.


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