The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has warned that airbags on millions of cars pose an “immediate risk” to drivers and passengers. When government agencies use language like this, it’s time to pay attention. This isn’t merely a malfunction that will cause an airbag not to work, but a problem that could maim and kill without warning, turning your car into a potential death trap.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the airbag recall.
1. How Big is the Problem and is My Vehicle Affected?
About 7.8 million cars in the US are being recalled because their air bags could explode without warning. The recall affects makes of Nissan, Subaru, Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota, BMW, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, dating back to 2001, which were manufactured with the Takata model airbags and are covered in a recent worldwide recall. See our Virginia injury lawyers’ blog for a full list of vehicles affected by the airbag recall
2. What Could Happen if an Airbag Explodes?
The airbags can send plastic and metal fragments into drivers or passengers. It has been linked to at least four deaths and numerous injuries. Stephanie Erdman from Texas lost part of her eyesight in an explosion. She is suing Takata and Honda after an airbag exploded during a fender bender in Houston.
3. Does my Location Factor into the Risk?
Yes. Humidity is more likely to trigger the problem. Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii (all hot, humid spots), have been highlighted as the states of greatest concern. But let’s not forget it can get pretty humid in Virginia too.
4. Is the Problem an Easy One to Fix?
No. There here aren’t 7.8 million airbags lying around to replace the potentially dangerous ones, meaning some consumers face waiting months to get replacements. Toyota has suggested disabling the passenger side airbag and keeping the seat empty as a temporary solution.
5. Is there a Hotline or a Site to Find Out if My car is Affected?
You can call NHTSA’s safety hotline (1-888-327-4236) or use your car’s VIN to see if you’re affected by this or any other reported problem.
Cooper Hurley is a personal injury law firm based in Norfolk, Virginia. We handle product liability cases against automakers, tire makers and drug companies. Call us today for a free consultation at 757.455.0077 or see CooperHurley.com.