Airbag Defects and Product Liability: Costly Safety Issues for Automakers in Tennessee

Airbags are a key passive safety feature in modern vehicles, designed to deploy rapidly in the event of a collision to cushion occupants and prevent or reduce injuries. However, defects in airbag components or designs can lead to airbags failing to deploy or deploying violently or at the wrong time. These defects have led to injuries, deaths, and costly legal action against automakers under product liability laws.

Widespread Airbag Recalls in 2014-2015

In 2014 and 2015, millions of vehicles across makes and models were recalled in the United States due to faulty airbags supplied by Takata Corporation. Problems with degraded propellants led to inflators rupturing upon airbag deployment, shooting out metal fragments that could severely injure or kill drivers and passengers. Over 20 deaths worldwide have been attributed to these defective Takata airbags. The recalls applied to over 19 automakers and impacted Tennessee drivers significantly.

Legal Responsibilities Under Lemon Laws and Beyond

When consumers are injured due to product defects, Tennessee’s lemon law provides protections like replacement vehicles or buybacks. But for severe injuries or deaths, lemon law compensation is insufficient. Product liability laws allow consumers to pursue automakers for defective designs, insufficient testing procedures, failure to warn consumers of risks, negligence, breach of warranty, and strict liability when defects cause harm. Compensation can include economic damages like medical bills or lost wages and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Documenting Evidence in Airbag Injury Cases

Pursuing an injury claim over airbag defects requires careful evidence gathering. Police reports, medical records documenting injuries sustained, repair invoices showing work done on recalled parts, and vehicle maintenance logs should all be collected. Photographs of injuries can also help demonstrate harm, as can witness statements. With the assistance of experts like biomechanical engineers, plaintiffs can show how the airbag mechanism failed and led directly to injuries in the accident.

The Risks of Delayed Repairs

The millions of vehicles recalled over Takata airbags highlight how delays in getting repairs done can endanger drivers. Some vehicle owners put off bringing cars into dealerships due to inconvenience or forgetting. But unrepaired defects turn vehicles into time bombs, with risks increasing as components age. Plaintiffs may be accused of contributory negligence for failing to act on recall notices. Drivers should prioritize getting recall repairs done and report any subsequent problems immediately for their own safety.

Holding Automakers Accountable in Tennessee

Product liability laws are meant to hold manufacturers accountable and give them incentives to prevent defects from harming the public. When airbags fail and cause injuries on Tennessee’s roadways, experienced attorneys can help victims and grieving families pursue justice against automakers. Compensation obtained can help pay extensive medical bills, provide for lost income and rehabilitation needs, and give some measure of closure. Those injured by defective airbags should consult qualified counsel to understand their options.

If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a faulty airbag, contact the experienced team at Monge & Associates today to discuss your case. We have offices in 32 locations across 19 states, including Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kansas, and have over 30 years of experience with these cases.

Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.