Like car owners across the globe, those in Roanoke City have been keeping a close eye on the product recall car companies have been implementing for problems with airbags. When motor vehicles are purchased, there’s an inherent belief that they will be properly constructed and safe. When there is an automobile design defect, it’s often not a matter of it being a small issue that can be repaired without the risk of harm. Given the fact that vehicles are on the road with other vehicles, an accident because of a defective auto part can be fatal.
The auto supplier Takata is engaged in an ongoing dispute with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding airbags that were deemed to have been defective. According to the NHTSA, the company has not provided the requested information regarding the defect that can lead to the inflaters exploding violently and jettisoning metal fragments into the vehicle cabin. Over 18 million vehicles with this problem have been recalled in the U.S. Current information shows that at least six people have died throughout the world. The company will be fined $14,000 per day until they cooperate. The company claims that it is still trying to find out what caused the airbag ruptures and will inform the NHTSA as they move along. The company also resisted an order that the recall be expanded beyond regions that have high humidity.
Companies who manufacture products have a responsibility for the safety of the buying public. In many cases, the company was not aware of the dangers their products created. Regardless of the reason, the company is responsible for its products and the safety of customers. If there are injuries or fatalities as a result of a defective auto part, those who have been hurt have a right to seek compensation through product liability litigation.
The details of the automobile design defect with Takata’s airbags and its defective auto part are still being sifted through. The company and the U.S. government are disagreeing as to the details of the proposed recall and how it should be handled. As the number of incidents of injury or death because of this issue are still not fully known, those who believe they might have been hurt because of it may want to discuss their case with a legal professional.
Source: New York Times, “U.S. Agency Sets Fines for Maker of Airbags,” Hiroko Tabuchi and Danielle Ivory, Feb. 20, 2015