Accidents Involving Defective Airbags
April 25, 2018
Airbags are an essential safety feature for all vehicles. In the event of an accident, they can make the difference between life and death. When airbags malfunction during a car accident, the results can be devastating. A recent string of accidents involving defective airbags has the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) worried.
The NHTSA launched an investigation into Hyundai and Kia models after six accidents wherein the airbags failed to deploy, resulting in four fatalities and six injuries. The agency discovered a problem with the electronics in the airbag control computers in the 2011 Hyundai Sonata and 2012 and 2013 Kia Forte models. While only these six accidents have been reported so far, an estimated 425,000 cars may have this defect, and the NHTSA is currently working to determine if other brands may have been impacted as well.
Supplier Has History of Defective Electronics
The affected parts, which have shown a tendency to short circuit, were produced by the supplier ZF-TRW. This supplier has had issues before, most recently in 2016 when Fiat Chrysler issued a recall for airbags that failed to deploy. More than 1.4 million cars and SUVs were part of the recall, all of which had airbag computers made by ZF-TRW.
Hyundai has issued a recall of 155,000 2011 model-year Sonatas. They are currently working on a solution to fix the defective auto parts to ensure that the airbags in these vehicles are operational. According to the NHTSA’s investigation, the airbag failure only occurs during high-speed collisions in which vehicles hit each other head-on, but slightly off-center. This type of accident is relatively rare, but also extremely dangerous. If airbags fail during high-speed, head-on collisions, severe or even fatal injuries can occur.
Because they are only deployed in the event of an accident, drivers may not know that their airbags are defective until it is too late. Drivers should be able to count on their vehicle to function as intended and not have to question whether standard safety features, such as seat belts and airbags, will keep them safe in their moment of need. When a defect like this is discovered, companies must take swift action, as Hyundai did, to make sure that drivers are aware of the risk and can properly address it before a fatal accident occurs.
Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Obtain Compensation for Victims of Defective Vehicles
When an accident involves a defective vehicle, it can be difficult to determine who is liable for any injuries that occur. Depending on the nature of the defect, responsible parties could include the vehicle’s designer, the producer of the defective part, the manufacturer that assembles the vehicle, or the company that markets the vehicle. If you or a loved one has been injured due to an auto defect, the Philadelphia product liability lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP can help determine who is liable and hold them accountable for their negligence. Our knowledgeable, experienced lawyers are dedicated to obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled.
With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we help victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online for a free consultation.