Injury Risks of Defective Airbags

Your head is racing about a mile a minute as you sit in a plastic fold-out chair outside the emergency room. You’ve been sitting there for almost two hours without as much as a progress report from the surgeon. Your husband is trying to keep you calm, but your little girl is being operated on—calm isn’t anywhere near you at this point.

Three hours ago you were peacefully making dinner. You gave your baby girl your keys to the car and sent her to the store to pick up soda and dessert. After 45 minutes you began to worry. You gave her a call on her cellphone, and a strange voice answered. It was a police officer. He informed you that your daughter was in an accident.

Your world stopped. You immediately asked how bad the accident was and if your daughter was okay. He responded that the collision was just a minor fender-bender, but due to excessive injuries brought on by airbag damage, your daughter was being rushed to the hospital.

As soon as he said extensive injuries you switched the oven off, yelled to your husband, and booked it to the emergency room. Once you arrived, you were told that your daughter was in surgery to repair multiple lacerations and a potential cranial hemorrhage.

Now you sit, holding your husband’s hand, torturously thinking about how this could have happened. The police officer said it was just a fender-bender. How could an airbag cause so much damage? If it was defective, it should be you in surgery, not her. If this all because of a minor collision, what else could have happened? What if the accident was worse?

Defective Airbag Driver Risks

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), over the past 15 years airbags have saved over 30,000 people from fatal collision injuries. However, airbag effectiveness has recently been brought into question due to a recent recall suggested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at the behest of the United States Congress. This recall, that affected more than 16-million vehicles, was prompted by the death of four drivers and over 24 serious injuries caused by defective airbags.

The NHTSA further stated that this particular defect caused the airbag inflators to explode on impact. These explosions caused pieces of metal and shrapnel from the steering column to essentially be shot toward the driver.

Although this is a serious concern, the manufacturer of the defective airbag—the Takata Corporation—was hesitant to pursue the recall. Its hesitation put millions of lives at stake. However, it’s an unfortunate reality that when it comes to business, money generally trumps safety. How many other corporations have decided to ignore potential defects, and how many drivers are now at risk for serious injuries?

Injuries that could include: 

  • Burns
  • Blindness
  • Hearing loss
  • Broken bones
  • Damaged ribcages
  • Asthmatic attacks
  • Lacerations and penetrations
  • Miscarriages (pregnant victims)
  • Brain and spinal injuries

Sharing the Risks to Protect Your Loved Ones

Airbags are required in passenger vehicles, and are established in helping to save lives. However, defective airbags can cause horrible injuries. That is why it is important to know your risks in order to take the proper precautions. Now that you’re aware of the risks, help your friends and loved ones get the information they need to stay safe.

Share this page via Facebook, Twitter, email, and Google Plus to help spread the word about defective airbags. You can also tell your family to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about a recent accident. The consultation is free but the advice may be priceless.