Automobile recalls are issued pretty much on a daily basis. However, parts installed by the original auto manufacturer aren’t always the only component of a vehicle that can pose a threat to public safety. As recently evidenced, the parts that are installed in vehicles by repair shops can also endanger the occupants of a vehicle if the safety of those parts can’t be verified.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is warning consumers all across the country that the safety of their vehicles may be compromised by counterfeit airbags. There’s not one single vehicle manufacturer that this safety warning affects, but rather numerous major automobile companies. Instead of the safety issue coming from airbags issued by the original manufacturers, these potentially defective airbags were installed by repair outfits following an automobile accident where the original airbag was deployed.
If your vehicle contains one of these counterfeit airbags, then there’s a good chance that it won’t go off in a collision. And that’s not the only hazard. There’s also a risk that the airbag will just outright explode. Occupants of the automobile would then be in danger of being hit with metal shrapnel thrust outward from the exploding airbag.
The NHTSA conducted tests to ascertain the potential threat. That same agency is warning consumers and mechanics that there would be no way to distinguish the fake airbags from the real thing, as the counterfeit units still carry the brand name and signage that come standard with the non-counterfeit version of the product. The NHTSA is partnering with other government agencies, such as Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Justice’s Intellectual Property Rights Division, to try to figure out what caused this dilemma and determine how it can be avoided moving forward.
There are two categories of people that might be at risk. The first is anyone who, in the past three years, has had to bring their automobile into a mechanic in order to get a new airbag. Excluded from this category are those persons who brought their vehicles in for service at a dealership that sells new automobiles. The other people who might be at risk are those who have purchased a used automobile recently and have reason to suspect that their vehicle was involved in an accident at some point in the past three years.
Persons contained within either category can get in touch with a call center that has been set up by the NHTSA. There is actually a different phone number to call for each particular automobile manufacturer, so consumers should consult that list of numbers. Owners should also realize that, because this is not technically a recall, the cost of any potential repairs are the responsibility of the vehicle owner.
A potential airbag malfunction has prompted General Motors Limited Liability Company to issue a voluntary recall for more than 4,300 Chevrolet Malibu passenger vehicles. This recall has been announced for Chevrolet Malibus from model year 2013 due to a potential issue with the vehicle’s electrical system software. When a driver brakes aggressively, the vehicles affected by this recall may experience a malfunction in the sensing and diagnostic module causing it to reset itself. If this sensor module resets during a sharp turn, the module may mistakenly detect a vehicle rollover, causing the vehicle’s roof rail airbag to deploy unexpectedly, possibly startling the driver and increasing the likelihood that the vehicle will become involved in an auto collision. In addition, the airbags or seatbelt pretensioning systems may not be activated in the event of an accident, increasing the danger of severe injury or death. General Motors plans to inform owners of affected vehicles in the near future. Consumers in possession of Chevy Malibus affected by this recall may return them to authorized Chevrolet dealerships, where the sensing and diagnostic module will be reprogrammed at no cost to the vehicle’s owner. More information about this recall can be obtained by contacting General Motors directly and referencing campaign identification number 12102, or by calling the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline and referencing campaign identification number 12V224000. United States law forbids the selling of vehicles under safety recall.
Jeep Liberty vehicles are currently under evaluation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after seven complaints of front airbags deploying without a crash, according to recent news sources.
The cars under evaluation are the 2002 and 2003 model years. Of the seven incidents, five consumers reported illnesses. Three reports described both the driver and passenger airbags deploying, while four reported that just the driver side passenger airbag activated.
Some of the consumers reported that the airbag light was illuminated before the unexpected deployment, while some described it as going on and off before the incident.
The NHTSA’s Office of Defects is currently in charge of investigating the possible defect.
As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, consumer safety and keeping people informed of potential dangers of hazardous products is a big priority for me. I would like you to know that our product liability lawyers are here to help you and your loved ones if anything ever does happen because of an unsafe product. Do not hesitate to call us right away if any other consumer product has caused you pain and suffering. Please come back to our blog regularly so that you are informed about new dangerous consumer products
Hyundai Motors has announced a recall, in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for two of their sport utility vehicles in regards to an airbag deployment issue, according to news sources.
The cars subject to recall are the Santa Fe and Veracruz 2007-2008 model years. The cars were manufactured from April 2006 to March 2008. About 205,233 cars are affected by this recall.
The issue is a problem with the safety system’s electrical circuit, which can deactivate the driver’s front airbag. If an airbag doesn’t deploy in the event of a collision, the risk of injury to the driver can be substantially increased.
Hyundai will contact owners this month to arrange a free repair of the system.
As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, consumer safety and keeping people informed of potential dangers of defective products is one of my priorities. I would like you to know that our product liability lawyers are here to help you if anything ever does happen because of a defective or malfunctioning product. Do not hesitate to call us right away if any other consumer product has caused you pain and suffering. Please come back to our blog regularly so that you are informed about new dangerous consumer products.
Kia Motors, in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has issued a recall of their Kia Sorento sport utility vehicles, due to a faulty airbag activation system, according to news sources.
The recall includes 10,600 vehicles from the 2007 and 2008 model year in cars manufactured from June 2006 to September 2007.
The issue is with the Occupant Classification System, designed to deactivate the airbag if a small child is in the passenger seat. A glitch in the programming will deactivate the airbag if the front seat is occupied by a heavier adult rider. The warning light telling the driver the airbag is off does notify the driver of the airbag being turned off.
If you own this vehicle, Kia recommends you bring it into your dealership where the system will be repaired.
As a Los Angeles car accident lawyer, I know that car safety features can save a life. In the same light, faulty systems or broken car parts can seriously endanger you and other drivers. Make sure your car is properly maintained by routinely getting it checked out. Additionally, if you have been injured due to a defective car part, it’s in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney. We know that even with all of the rules and regulation imposed on product manufacturers, things can still go wrong and sometimes companies even put profit before safety. If this has happened to you, call a personal injury attorney today.
News sources report, Chrysler Group LLC is recalling model year 2008 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans due to the possibility that an airbag componant may have been exposed to moisture causing the airbag warning light to illuminate or posing a risk of unexpected airbag deployment.
The recall was initiated to replace the occupant restrain control module (ORC), which is part of the airbag system. The ORC modules have a printed circuit board that, if exposed to moisture, can delaminate over time leading to airbag dysfunction.
According to a document the Chrysler filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the vans subject to recall were built from June 24, 2007, through July 30, 2008. The recall affects 299,718 minivans, most of which were sold in the U.S.; however the carmaker reports 50,251 were sold in Canada, 3,748 in Mexico, and 13,633 vehicles were export models.
In January, the same group of minivan was recalled to replace a drain grommet for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system because the grommet could allow moisture to seep into the area around the ORC.
Chrysler says the carmaker will start notifying consumers of the recall in September and dealers will replace the affected unit at no cost to consumers.
As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I encourage motorists to who own one of the affected minivans to stay safe by having their vehicle serviced as soon as they are notified of the recall.