If you follow automotive news, you have undoubtedly heard about the dangers of some Takata airbags. These airbags, which come from a Japanese manufacturer, may be on millions of recalled vehicles. Still, the airbag recall has not stopped the fatalities.
In early January, a South Carolina man died when a faulty Takata airbag exploded. According to reporting from National Public Radio, the driver was the 19th person to die from a defective Takata airbag in the U.S.
Potential for degradation and explosion
The potentially fatal problem with some Takata airbags lies inside their inflators. The inflator, which is a small mechanical component, allows airbags to deploy in milliseconds during a crash. Regrettably, over time, inflators on some Takata airbags tend to degrade. When this occurs, these inflators may explode, sending sharp metal and other shrapnel flying toward the driver and passengers.
The official recall
Automakers began recalling vehicles with defective Takata airbags nearly a decade ago. Since then, millions of owners have taken their vehicles to dealerships and service centers for repairs. If you are unsure whether a recall covers your vehicle, you can use its identification number to search the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall database.
Your next steps
Because defective Takata airbags may be ticking time bombs, it is critical not to continue to drive a vehicle that has one. After all, a faulty inflator may explode with little notice or no notice at all. Remember, even if you survive an inflator explosion, you may sustain serious and life-altering injuries.
If your vehicle is subject to a recall, you should not have to pay for repairs. Ultimately, though, if you suffer an injury because of a defective Takata airbag, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation from a victim’s fund.