For over a year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been investigating reports of injuries and fatalities caused by exploding airbags. The explosions are caused by a malfunction in the inflation system of the airbags. Recently the NHTSA has expanded its inquiry to include a second manufacturer of the inflators, and motorists in Texas and around the world are impacted by this defective product.
More than 100 million cars manufactured by General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai and Kia through 2004 are the focus of the investigation. However, newer models may also contain the dangerous inflators. The devices inflate the airbags with a mixture of high pressure gas and ammonium. Investigators are trying to determine why the inflators are exploding, sending shards of metal into the faces and necks of drivers and passengers.
At first, the NHTSA was looking at inflators made by Takata Corporation. Recently, however, explosions have been reported from airbags with inflators manufactured by ARC Automotive. While the designs of the two products are different, the results are the same. More than 100 people have been injured from the exploding airbags and at least 13 others have died.
Many people in Texas and beyond who own cars that are under scrutiny have not yet received recall notices. The airbag that is supposed to protect them in case of an accident may actually cause serious injury, or worse. It is understandable that people who are injured by this defective product may wish to contact an attorney for help in seeking compensation for their pain and suffering.
Source: reuters.com, “U.S. expands investigation of 8 million air bag inflators after fatal crash“, David Shepardson, Aug. 4, 2016