The automakers have recently been plagued with a rash of issues relating to the vehicle’s airbags. First, airbags made by Takata forced a large-scale recall as they exploded when deployed, causing injuries and deaths. Although Takata has been forced out of business due to their legal liability, the problems with their airbags still remain. In addition, automakers have been experiencing problems with other parts of vehicle airbags. As a result, Toyota has been forced to issue two recalls recently affecting a total of 3.4 million vehicles. In addition, Honda has also issued a recall that covers an additional 2.7 million vehicles. In all, automakers could be forced to recall as many as 12 million vehicles due to airbag problems.
The specific problem that caused Toyota to initiate the recall is that the airbags in the vehicle do not properly inflate. This problem is a result of the electronics that control the airbags. The airbags are guided by a computer that sends a signal to the bags that they must inflate. Here, the computer system is vulnerable to electrical interference. As a result, the proper signal may not be sent and the airbags may not inflate as necessary.
The reason for the problem is that the computer lacks adequate protection from the electrical noise that is a part of many crashes. This will scramble the computer and keep it from directing the airbags to fully inflate or even inflate at all. The noise from the crash will keep the airbag control unit from properly interpreting the signals that are being sent from the crash sensors.
This problem is most pronounced during crashes in which a car goes under another car. This can happen when a passenger vehicle collides with a truck. However, the problem has also occurred in head-on crashes too when drivers need the protection of the airbag the most. There is one reported fatality from a crash in which the airbag failed to deploy under these circumstances. The company has not confirmed any fatalities, and this information comes from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. There is still an ongoing NHTSA investigation about the crashes.
In fact, it was an NHTSA investigation that discovered the issue that has led to the recall. Other manufacturers have previously experienced this problem and have had to initiate recalls of their own.
For Toyota, the fix for this problem is to install a noise filter as necessary between a wiring harness and the airbag computer. Not all cars will need this fix, but dealers will inspect the cars to determine if it is necessary. Owners are being notified of the problem and the need for the recall, and Toyota expects to have all of the notifications complete by mid-March.
Honda has also issued a recall notice for 2.7 million vehicles that contain Takata inflators. This was the company that was the defendant in one of the largest product liability actions of all-time due to the exploding inflators. This model is different from the one that caused recent injuries and fatalities. However, there is still a possibility that this particular model of airbag can eject shrapnel at drivers and passengers. There have been several explosion-type issues with the recalled airbags in Hondas. The automaker is using the recall to ensure that it removes faulty inflators from the car to protect drivers and passengers from flying shrapnel. The Honda recall affects older models of its vehicles that are primarily from 1997 to 2003.
Anyone who has been injured by a defective airbag may be eligible to receive financial compensation for their injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help you obtain compensation by assisting you in filing a lawsuit. Contact the attorneys at The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates today to find out how we can help.