All cars come with safety features meant to protect drivers and passengers from harm in a car accident. However, when those safety features fail, they can’t prevent serious injuries in the crash, and can even cause harm on their own.
This is exactly what has been happening with airbags made by the company Takata. As we detailed in our recent blog post, Takata airbags have serious defects. These defects have made them the subject of what’s been described as “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.” Unfortunately, this recall did not come before numerous people were seriously hurt or even killed by these defective airbags.
To date, Takata’s defective airbags have been connected to 11 deaths and about 180 injuries in the United States, alone.
The Dangers of Takata’s Defective Airbags
There are two important defects in Takata’s airbags: An unstable chemical compound that fills the airbag, and a weak inflator. Together, these defects can deploy the airbag at the slightest collision, and in such a large explosion that the inflator, which is made of steel, breaks apart.
As a result, Takata’s defective airbags deploy when they’re not supposed to – sometimes without any collision, at all – and send metal shrapnel out the airbag and into the car.
This leads to two significant dangers: The shrapnel, itself, and the lack of a working airbag in a potentially serious car crash.
Shrapnel Injuries from Takata Airbags
When the defects in a Takata airbag cause it to malfunction and detonate, the metal inflator breaks apart to send steel shards right into the face of whoever is in front of it.
Needless to say, the injuries that this causes are significant. Police responding to multiple accidents that involved a defective Takata airbag have thought the victims were shot or stabbed. In one case, police were so sure the driver was stabbed that their investigation even rounded up a person of interest. Unfortunately, the driver died from her injuries after several days in the hospital.
Injuries from a Deflated Airbag
Flying shrapnel is not the only danger of a defective Takata airbag. On its way into the car from the inside of the airbag, this shrapnel has to cut through the airbag’s fabric. The air that is supposed to keep the airbag inflated rushes through these holes, leaving the airbag empty and useless. If the car accident is a serious one, the lack of a working airbag can lead to significant head injuries.
St. Joseph Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
The Takata airbag recall is one of the most serious products liability cases ever. Innocent drivers can get hurt or even killed without warning.
This is just one of the reasons why the personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph work to represent victims of car accidents both in and out of court. By fighting for your rights and interests, we can ensure that you get the compensation that you need to make the full recovery that you deserve.
Contact us online or at (816) 875-9373.