Defective Airbag Recall Complicated by Replacement Parts Shortage

defective products, DuPage County personal injury attorneyBy now you have probably heard about—or been personally involved in—the massive recall of cars and light trucks related to dangerous and potentially deadly airbag inflators. Every few weeks, it seems, another few thousand makes and models are added to the already staggering number of recalled vehicles. Most recently, Toyota announced the recall of 330,000 more cars, addressing concerns over passenger-side airbags. Even the head of the federal agency overseeing the recall has been directly affected, according to reports. But now, there seems to be quite a delay in fixing the problem, as replacement parts are not readily available, thanks to the sheer volume of vehicles needing attention.

NHTSA Chief’s Car Recalled

The Associated Press reported this week that one of Mark Rosekind’s family cars is currently among the more than 24 million that have been recalled in the United States for faulty airbag inflators. Rosekind is the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the nation’s primary agency for car, truck, and roadway safety regulation. Rosekind declined to identify the make and model of his recalled vehicle, stating only that it is one primarily driven by his wife. He, like millions of other American owners, is now being forced to wait for replacement parts, as suppliers race to keep up with demand. Although Rosekind says he is not getting special treatment due to his position, he and his family are fortunate enough to have another vehicle they can drive while waiting for the repair.

Focus on Increased Danger Zones

The airbags in question use a chemical propellant to fill the airbag quickly when needed during an accident. Over time, and made worse by exposure to extreme temperatures and humidity, the chemical can break down, causing unpredictably strong explosions when the airbag is deployed. These explosions have broken off pieces of the airbag housing, sending metal fragments into the passenger cabin of the vehicle, causing death in at least 10 cases and dozens of injuries.

As the need for replacement airbag inflator grows, supplies are running short. Based on the highest likelihood of problems, the NHTSA has begun focusing on older vehicles and those along the Gulf Coast, where high humidity and temperatures lead to increased risk of airbag explosions.

What to Do If You Are Injured

Defective products injure unsuspecting victims every day though not all garner the international attention of a global recall. If you have been injured by a dangerous consumer product or in an accident caused by product’s defective design, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced DuPage County personal injury lawyer to learn more about your available options. Call 630-920-8855 to schedule your free consultation at Martoccio & Martoccio today.


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