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Georgia Personal Injury Blog

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Important Information for Georgia Residents About Takata Airbag Recall

Airbags manufactured by Takata, a Japanese auto supplier, have been recalled due to a possibility of serious malfunction that can result in severe personal injury or even death. It's especially urgent that Georgia residents are informed about this issue because the airbag is more likely to become defective in warm, humid climates.

The recall is not new, but the sense of urgency has increased as the recall has expanded. According to the original press release issued by Toyota there were only "certain geographic areas that appear to warrant immediate action" and the recall was limited to areas such as Florida and Hawaii.

In fact, the original notice published by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") also underestimated the number of vehicles impacted at less than 5 million, and has recently updated the estimate to approximately 8 million with the disclaimer that it could change again. However, the recall has been expanded to a nationwide recall and now focuses on the makes and models of the affected vehicle in any location (click here to see the NHTSA's list of car affected).

Is the "Solution" More Dangerous Then the Problem?

When deployed, the faulty airbags project metal shrapnel at vehicle occupants. This defect has caused severe injury to occupants of the vehicle. In fact, according to ABC News, the airbags have been blamed for at least three deaths and more than 100 injuries.

There is no question that these airbags are dangerous and should be replaced as soon as possible, however Takata does not have enough airbags on hand to replace the millions of cars that are affected.

After the supply of replacement airbags has been depleted, one current recommended course of action is to turn the airbags off, which compounds the risk to vehicle occupants. Currently, it is estimated that only a small percentage of defective airbags will explode in a crash and there is a much higher likelihood of injury or death due to a car crash with a disabled airbag. Stickers and warnings have been designed to discourage passengers from riding in the front seat of cars with disabled airbags, but the effectiveness remains to be seen.

What Should Georgia Residents with Takata Airbags Do?

Because Georgia's climate is also known for warm temperatures and high humidity, Georgia residents are at higher risk and need to take action.

Georgia residents should check the latest version of the cars affected (see the link to NHTSA's web site above). NHTSA also offers a tool online that allows you to look up your specific Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to help determine if your vehicle is subject to the recall. If your car is affected, contact your local dealership - different manufacturers have different methods to address the problem.

Georgia residents injured by faulty or disabled airbags should also seek legal help. For a free consultation regarding a defective airbag or personal injury, contact Andrew Gebhardt at agebhardt@smithwelchlaw.com or call 770-389-4864.

Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the state of Georgia. We have investigated hundreds of automobile collisions and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured clients and families of those killed in wrongful death accidents. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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