Passenger vehicles began having airbags installed in the 1970s, and the federal government began requiring dual front airbags on all consumer vehicles in 1998. The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that, in the past 30 years, airbags have saved more than 50,000 lives - and likely more.
Unfortunately, airbags can have defects, and they can malfunction just like any other type of product or auto part. In recent years, Takata airbag defects led to several deaths, more serious injuries, and the largest vehicle recall in history. Those airbags were exploding on deployment, sending metal shrapnel into the passenger compartment of the car. While this can be frightening, there is another type of airbag defect that can be even more terrifying and dangerous - spontaneous airbag deployment in the absence of a collision. This type of malfunction can cause drivers to crash and sustain severe injuries.
Why Airbags Deploy
Airbags are basically an extension of the seat belt safety system in a vehicle. When you are in a moderate to serious collision, the seat belt should lock, which sends a signal to the airbag electronic control unit. This causes the ignition of a harmless gas, which should result in the deployment and inflation of the airbag. Generally, this happens in less than one-twentieth of a second. Side-impact airbags typically inflate quicker.
When inflated, airbags are large enough to protect the head and face of a driver and passengers. Airbags can cause you to lose visibility in front of the car, but this is usually not a concern since the car has already crashed. However, if an airbag deploys suddenly - without warning or reason - it can cause a driver to lose sight of where they are going while they react to the shock of the airbag deployment.
Holding Companies Liable for Airbag Defects
Airbag manufacturers have been responsible for making faulty airbags that malfunctioned and cause injuries. When this happens, injured victims or the families of fatal accident victims or a person who has been tragically injured has the right to hold the airbag manufacturer liable for their injuries.
In order to have a successful claim against a manufacturer, you must show one or more of the following:
- The airbag’s design was inherently defective
- The airbag was assembled or installed inadequately or improperly
- The vehicle did not come with proper warnings regarding the possible risks of airbags
These can be highly technical cases, and require the assistance of vehicle experts to determine why the airbag malfunctioned. In addition, taking on large manufacturers is always a difficult task. You must preserve the vehicle for inspection by our experts to determine if there was airbag failure. An aggressive and experienced attorney advocating for your rights. Call now David C. Chavez Law Firm at 505-865-9696 to evaluate your claim.
Here is how David C. Chavez Law Firm at 505-865-9696 Can Help
If you crashed because your airbag suddenly deployed or it failed to deploy during a collision, you need a highly skilled personal injury lawyer who has the experience and resources available to evaluate and get your claim resolved. For a free consultation with David C. Chavez Law Firm, please call 505-865-9696 or contact us online today. Recognized as a Top 10 Top 100 Super Lawyer in the United States in Personal Injury Cases.