Airbag Safety Recalls: Is Your Vehicle Safe?
When it comes to motor vehicle injuries, taking the appropriate safety precautions can mean the difference between life and death. Airbags are a standard safety device that has been shown to reduce the severity of impacts for drivers and their passengers when car accidents and injuries occur. While an airbag has the potential to save lives, it is of no use and could actually increase injuries if it does not work properly. Airbag recalls that began in 2015 have affected millions of cars and drivers, but recent reports show that only a fraction of those affected have returned their cars to the manufacturers or dealers for the necessary updates and corrections. In order to ensure your safety as well as that of your passengers, it is important to be aware of whether your car’s airbag system has been recalled, and the safety dangers that could result if it is not fixed.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), airbags work by preventing vehicle occupants from injuries caused by hitting objects in the car’s interior, as well as by preventing drivers and passengers from coming into contact with objects outside of a car, such as trees, guardrails, and other vehicles, in the event of a collision. Sensors detect when a crash has occurred, and if the impact is severe enough, the airbag system deploys. In today’s vehicles, airbags are standard safety equipment, and include the following:
- Frontal airbags, generally located within the steering wheel and on the dashboard of your car;
- Side airbags, which are often found in newer vehicles, located within the seat cushions and roof rails of your car; and
- Rollover airbags, also located within cushions and rails, which are larger to protect vehicle occupants in the event a crash causes the car to roll or flip over.
Airbags can reduce your risk of fatal injury in the event of an accident by as much as 30 percent, while using a seatbelt in conjunction with an airbag system lessons your and your passengers’ odds of being killed in a crash or collision by 50 percent or more.
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Airbag Recalls: Is Your Car On The List?
While airbags are a valuable tool in preventing highway fatalities, if they do not work properly they can end up actually causing injuries. In early 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began issuing reports of defects discovered in an international automotive parts manufacturer’s side airbag systems, causing the airbags to rupture. As of May 2015, six people had been killed and more than 34 million vehicles were being recalled as the result of the Takata Corporation airbags.
While car manufacturers and distributors have sent notices offering customers free replacements for the defective systems, an NBC news report states that only 27 percent have to date been replaced. Despite the recalls and news coverage of the defects, many drivers either remain unaware that their car is affected, or have simply neglected to bring their car in to their dealer for the necessary changes. As a result, millions of vehicles on the roads today are at risk. For a complete list of the makes and models of vehicles under the Takata airbag recall, visit the NHTSA website, SaferCar.gov.
Contact Us for Help
If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident or as the result of an automotive defect, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm. Our experienced South Carolina accident attorneys can assist you in holding responsible parties accountable so that you can get the compensation you deserve.