Automakers including Chrysler and Honda are recalling five million vehicles worldwide to address problems with the airbags. According to reports, the airbag problem has been known about for years but nothing has been done until now to fix the defect.
Continental Automotive Systems, a German supplier that manufactures electronic components for airbags, has known of a defect in some of its units since 2008. According to the company, semiconductors inside the airbags could corrode, which could cause the airbags to deploy inadvertently, or fail to deploy at all.
A company spokesperson says that once Continental became aware of the problem it notified the automobile companies. The automotive companies then had to decide whether or not to issue a recall. Continental fixed the problems with the semiconductors in 2008 but did not notify regulators of the problem.
At least nine injuries have been linked to the problem with the airbags. Under federal law, once a manufacturer becomes aware of a safety problem, it must, within five days, notify regulators of its plan for a recall or face severe penalties. Mazda and Volvo trucks may also contain the defective semiconductor and are currently investigating the issue.
It has unfortunately become a disturbing pattern for automakers to discover a problem with vehicles, fail to take any steps to address the problem, and then only later issue a recall after consumers have been injured or killed by the defective vehicle. Fortunately, those who are injured by defective automobiles or other consumer products have the right to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707 or visit us on Twitter to learn more about your legal options if you have been injured by a defective consumer product. You may be entitled to compensation, including money for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.