Airbags are one of the most important safety features in modern cars and trucks. Using a sensor to detect possible impacts, the system rapidly inflates an airbag to provide a cushion of air between the occupant and the interior of the vehicle. Airbags can reduce the severity of car crashes and even save the life of a passenger or driver.
Unfortunately, airbag systems can be defective and fail to work as intended. This can cause the airbag to fail to inflate or inflate suddenly where there is no impact. A defective airbag can increase the risk of injury, fail to protect occupants, or cause a driver to crash.
Car companies and safety equipment manufacturers may not notify consumers about the defective airbags until after there have been multiple reports of injuries or accidents. If your vehicle has an airbag recall, airbag defects, or faulty airbag system, the California Lemon Lawyer may be able to get you compensation, replacement, or repairs to fix the problem.
Air Bag Systems in Motor Vehicles
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 1987 and 2017, front airbags have saved more than 50,000 lives. An airbag system generally consists of an airbag cushion, flexible bag, inflator module, and impact sensor.
The first airbag systems were tested in the 1950s but took some time before they began to show up in vehicles. In the U.S., cars and light trucks built after September 1, 1998, are required to have airbags for the driver and front passenger. Since that time, vehicles have added additional airbags to help cushion the occupants involved in accidents, including knee airbags, side curtain airbags, and seatbelt airbags.
Types of Airbag Problems in California Vehicles
There may be a number of potential problems with airbags and airbag systems. Anything that causes an airbag to improperly deploy, fail to deploy, or explode shooting metal particles into the face of a driver or passenger can cause serious injuries or increase the harm done in an accident. Types of airbag problems can include:
- Defective inflators,
- Defective impact sensors,
- Faulty ON/OFF sensor,
- Manufacturing defects,
- Faulty designs,
- Counterfeit after-market replacements,
- Electrical system problems,
- Premature inflation.
Takata Airbag Recall for California Drivers
The Takata airbags are under a massive recall, affecting tens of millions of vehicles. According to the recall notice, exposure to high heat and humidity can cause the airbags to explode upon deployment. These explosions have resulted in serious injuries and even death. More than 50 million defective airbags have been subject to recall. Check the NHTSA website to see if your vehicle is subject to the Takata airbag recall and what you can do.
Takata is one of the largest airbag producers in the world and the Takata airbag recall has affected many makes, models, and vehicle years. Some of the vehicle brands affected by the recall include:
- Land Rover
Fake Air Bags
The NHTSA has identified counterfeit airbags that have been shown to malfunction which may result in non-deployment or expulsion of metal shrapnel. These counterfeit airbags may have been purchased by repair shops looking to cut costs. However, these substandard airbags may put vehicle occupants in danger of injury or death.
Examples of an Airbag Complaint
The NHTSA collects and posts reports of vehicle problems and equipment problems, including airbag issues. An example of an airbag complaint ID Number 11173135 from North Royalton, Ohio involves a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. The consumer reported reporting the airbag sensor light was alternating between on and off. If the light indicates the airbag is not active, a driver could be injured if the airbag failed to inflate in the event of an accident.
Delays in Repairing Defective Airbags
Many consumers who have a vehicle with a recalled airbag have reported problems in getting the issue repaired. Many shops report being out of stock of the necessary parts to fix the system, have long backlogs, or do not get back to the consumer as promised. You should not have to drive around in an unsafe vehicle because airbag manufacturers and car companies are not prioritizing your safety and the safety of your family. Talk to you California Lemon Lawyer about options to get your faulty vehicle replaced, repaired, or get compensation.
California Lemon Lawyer for Owners with Airbag Problems
California's Lemon Law provides protection for vehicle owners with airbag and airbag system problems that could be dangerous for drivers and passengers. Contact The Lemon Lawyer today to help you understand your rights and options, including getting a refund, returning a faulty vehicle, free repairs or replacement, or other compensation for a defective car, truck, or SUV.