What Can Go Wrong with Airbags?
Airbags are incorporated into car designs to enhance occupants’ safety, but sometimes they fail to deploy, have delayed deployment, or deploy aggressively, resulting in fatal injuries. Other airbag defects that can compromise safety include airbag explosions, reused airbags, and defective crash sensors. A person injured by defective airbags or airbags that fail to deploy during a crash can recover financial compensation by bringing a product liability lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Common Airbag Safety Issues
Various automakers recalled more than 41 million cars fitted with defective Takata brand airbags between 2014 and 2019. These airbags contained a chemical propellant and an ineffective drying agent that caused them to inflate and explode. This explosion sent shrapnel at the passengers in the cars, causing 11 deaths and 180 serious injuries.
Defective Crash Sensors
Faulty crash sensors can cause airbag deployment mishaps. The mishaps include deploying at the wrong time, failing to deploy during a crash, deploying late, and only deploying one airbag instead of all airbags needed for the safety of occupants. Defective crash sensors can result in avoidable fatal injuries during an accident.
Chemical substances used to enhance airbag deployment can cause breathing challenges, burn injuries, hearing loss, or blindness, especially after an airbag burst.
Airbag Inflation Problems
Some airbags may inflate too quickly, while others may fail to fully inflate to cushion a driver and passengers from a crash impact. Rapid inflation can cause facial injuries, such as abrasions and eye injuries.
After a car accident, deployed airbags should be replaced with new ones. Used-vehicle sellers sometimes reuse deployed airbags to cut costs. The reused airbags may be torn and may even fail to inflate during a motor vehicle crash, resulting in life-threatening injuries or even death.
Product Liability Lawsuit
An individual injured in a car accident can file a product liability lawsuit if he or she suspects that the car’s airbag failed to deploy during a crash or it compounded his or her injuries. An injury attorney can review the details of the accident and have the car’s airbags checked for defects that either caused the injuries or resulted in a deployment failure. The attorney can also help in determining the liable party, which can include the vehicle manufacturer, airbag manufacturer, or airbag inspection officer.