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Airbags recalled in potentially 7.78 million vehicles

Products liability law is intended to help keep consumers safe from defective and dangerous products. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released recall warning information the government agency declared was urgent, also noting that fixing the recalled products was "essential to personal safety." The recalled products include defective airbags in 7.78 million potentially impacted vehicles. The airbags pose an urgent threat to front seat passengers, according to the NHTSA.

Underlying recalls dating to 2008 are related to the airbags and vehicles in areas with high humidity are most at risk. Two deaths are blamed on the airbags and two others are suspected to have been caused by the defective airbags. According to reports, the chemical propellant that causes the airbags to deploy was improperly handled during the manufacturing process. When the airbags inflate following a car crash, the airbags can tear loose from brackets holding them in place and propel shrapnel at occupants of the vehicle.

In addition to the faulty manufacturing process, the airbag manufacturer also kept poor records, which made the recall process difficult. Consumer injury and death resulting from a manufacturing defect can cause a variety of damages for victims and families.

Products liability law seeks to help victims of recalled products and other defective or dangerous products. Products liability laws, depending on the circumstances, may hold the manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer liable for the harm suffered by a consumer.

Because victims may suffer extensive physical, financial and emotional harm from a defective product, compensation for damages may be very important. Product liability legal options seek to help victims when reasonable expectations of safety were not met due to a defective product, resulting in injury to a consumer.

Source: USA Today, "Feds confused, automakers alarmed over Takata air bags," James R. Healey, Oct. 22, 2014

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