It appears as though General Motors is not the only major automaker to order recalls of thousands of its automobiles. Now Japanese automakers Mazda, Honda, and Nissan have ordered recalls as well. Between the three, more than three million vehicles were slated to be recalled, due to faulty airbags supplied by Takata Corporation, a parts manufacturer.
The recalls specifically targeted vehicles that were sold in states with high absolute humidity in the southern United States, including Texas. The reason was because the front air bag inflators contained a defect that could cause them to explode. If air bags deploy with too much pressure, they can rupture, resulting in a failure to protect the vehicle occupants from injury.
The three automakers decided to order recalls after receiving information about the issue from Takata Corporation. This recall supplements one that was enacted in 2013, which affected as many as six million vehicles, including those manufactured by Mazda, Honda, and Nissan. For the current recall, Honda estimates that more than two million vehicles sold in the United States are affected. Nissan and Mazda have previously recalled 750,000 and 160,000 vehicles respectively.
States with high absolute humidity have been targeted because they have been the location of several recorded air bag ruptures over the past 10 years. As to why the air bags have ruptured there, Takata and the automakers are still trying to make that determination. One theory is that the level of high absolute humidity, coupled with potential processing issues during specific time periods, may have influenced the aging stability of the air bags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will participate in the investigation. In addition to Texas, the states affected are Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, as well as the territories Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Earlier this month, Toyota Motor Corporation issued its own vehicle recall due to faulty air bags, affecting an estimated 2.27 million vehicles. Toyota also relies on Takata to manufacture its air bags.
Although the recalls appear overwhelming compared to the small handful of vehicles that displayed problems, it is responsible of the automakers to be so proactive with the recalls. No one who purchases or rides in a vehicle should have to fear getting injured by a defect over which they have no knowledge or control. In the event you are injured in a vehicle accident due to a product defect, you have the option of filing a product liability lawsuit. You would argue that the manufacturer owed you a duty of care to produce a safe product. Instead, the manufacturer created a product that was either designed to be unreasonably dangerous, or was unreasonably dangerous due to a malfunction on the assembly line (which appears to be the case here). The defect caused your injury, and as a result, you suffered damage. Note that in a strict product liability lawsuit, a manufacturer can still be held liable even if it did not act negligently; what matters is whether there was a product defect.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to an injury in a vehicle accident caused by a defect, you may be entitled to compensation, including medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. The experienced San Antonio personal injury attorneys at Carabin & Shaw may be able to help. Call our office for more information at 1-800-862-1260.