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Airbag Accident Lawyer Salt Lake City UT
Airbags offer potentially life-saving protection in the event of car accidents and injuries. They provide a cushion to keep you in place while preventing you from slamming against windshields, dashboards, or other hard surfaces. Unfortunately, one of the major automotive airbag manufacturers has been embroiled in controversy while being the subject of auto recalls for the past several years. Rather than saving lives of motorists in Utah and across the country, the company is accused of producing defective airbags that can end up leaving drivers and their passengers with serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. New developments in the case and additional recalls impacting major automobile manufacturers continue to keep the Takata airbag scandal in the news. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a defective airbag, contact an airbag accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT clients trust.
Airbag Recall Triples in Size Over Past Year, While Consumers Wait for Replacement Parts
According to the current numbers from the federal government, as of this writing, more than 41 million vehicles in the U.S. have been recalled due to a defective Takata Airbag. Vehicles from model years 2000 to 2018, from 34 different brands have been affected.
The problem was first discovered in 2015, yet automobile manufacturers have been slow to add themselves to the list or to make provisions to replace the millions of airbags that are defective. Each year, that number continues to rise.
In March 2018, a Senate hearing uncovered the fact that of the 17 auto manufacturers subject to the recall, only six had made provisions for customers to receive loaner cars while they waited on replacement airbags, associated parts, and installation to finally be finished. With so many vehicles subject to the recall, Takata is finding it impossible to keep up with the demand for replacements. After admitting they knew the airbags were defective when they were shipped to manufacturers, the company faces criminal fines and consumer lawsuits estimated to be worth billions of dollars.
Automakers Sued Over Airbag Defects
As a car accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT can explain, Takata filed for bankruptcy in June of 2016, but is still required to maintain a trust fund for victims, along with providing the replacement parts. Automakers, many of whom have since been implicated as knowing that the airbags were defective, have pledged to give up their own claims against Takata and to contribute roughly $100 million or more to the victim fund.
As allegations continue to emerge about what automakers knew regarding the defects, they are increasingly the target of lawsuits from consumers who have been injured. In addition to not properly inflating in the event of a car crash, Takata airbags have been known to inflate prematurely, while the occupant of the vehicle is simply driving along the road. Drivers face potentially serious puncture wounds and lacerations to the head, throat, and chest, along with an increased risk of being involved in a collision as a result.
A separate group of defective Takata airbags was recalled in late 2019. Unlike the airbag inflators in the prior Takata recalls, this recall involves non-azide driver inflators. The defect in the inflators can result in the airbag either exploding or underinflating during deployment.
Have You Been Injured Due to Automobile Defects?
When auto manufacturers fail to disclose dangerous conditions or defects that could endanger consumers, they can be held liable for any damages that occur as a result. Contact Rasmussen & Miner and request a consultation with a Salt Lake City UT airbag accident lawyer to discuss your rights to compensation.