The defective airbags made by Takata have become one of the biggest product liability situations in the U.S. The main implication of these poorly-designed airbags is the personal injury risk they pose to drivers. Even if there wasn’t a car accident, the inflator in Takata’s faulty airbags can suddenly explode, sending shrapnel into the car.
Unfortunately, the recall efforts have gone very slowly. As a result, many vehicles with potentially deadly airbags could still be out there. One place where you can still find defective Takata airbags is in a used car lot. This raises some serious safety concerns.
Takata’s Defective Airbags and Used Cars
Because it’s taken so long for the Takata airbag recall to get anywhere, used car dealerships have been put in a difficult position. In order for a used car to be labeled as “certified pre-owned” – the “gold standard” for used cars – they can’t have any open recalls.
The Takata airbag recall has made this a serious problem. More than 60 million airbags need to be replaced, but there aren’t enough parts to go around. Even some of the replacement parts have been found to be defective.
Used car dealerships, however, need to sell cars to stay in business. To get out of this bind, they’ve been stretching the truth about their cars, putting buyers at risk.
Certified Pre-Owned Label Loses Meaning
Seemingly in an attempt to help used car dealers, the Federal Trade Commission changed what “certified pre-owned” meant. Dealerships could now say a used car was certified pre-owned, even if it had a pending recall that hadn’t been fixed yet, if they disclosed the recall. They would also have to notify the buyers when replacement parts came in, and couldn’t advertise the vehicle’s safety.
Of course, the implications of this mean that not only are numerous airbags with a potentially fatal defect moving from a used car lot to the roads, but used car dealerships now have less of an incentive to fix their inventory.
Buying a Used Car Takes Even More Diligence
These new business practices take responsibility from used car dealerships and dump them on the people who are looking to buy and drive a used car. As a result, if you’re considering a used car, running the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) for open recalls is important if you want to know, for sure, what you’re getting.
St. Joseph Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
The danger posed by defective Takata airbags is not small. Innocent drivers have been seriously hurt or even killed by the exploding inflators inside these devices. Instead of saving lives, Takata airbags have put them at even greater risk in a car accident.
This is why the personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph work tirelessly to represent people who have been hurt in car accidents or by Takata airbags. Contact us online or call our law office at (816) 875-9373 for the legal help you need to get the compensation you deserve.