Airbags can save lives and reduce injuries. In 2009, frontal airbags saved more than 28,000 people’s lives. Side airbags have also saved lives. According to an Institute analysis of U.S. crashes, side airbags with head protection reduce a car driver’s risk of death in driver-side crashes by 37% and an SUV driver’s risk by 52%.
However, faulty airbags may cause more harm than good. This is exactly what happened on Monday, October 20, 2014. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urged owners of certain General Motors, BMW, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda and Honda vehicles to have the defective airbags in their cars replaced or fixed. These car companies use airbags manufactured by Takata, which were reported to malfunction once exposed to too much humidity.
On Monday, October 20, 2014, Toyota issued a recall covering 247,000 vehicles including the following models: 2002-2005 Lexus SC, 2003-2005 Toyota Corolla, 2003-2005 Toyota Matrix, 2002-2005 Toyota Sequoia, 2003-2005 Toyota Tundra and the 2003-2005 Pontiac Vibe. Areas affected by the recall so far include: American Samoa, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Saipan and the Virgin Islands.
John Hanson, Toyota’s spokesman, said that the company could expand the recall to more areas, but they will need to run more tests. The company is also working with Takata to determine the cause of the rupture and to measure the influence of high humidity. Hanson added that repairs of airbags will be done for free and notices will go into the mail around October 25, 2014. He also said that vehicle owners affected by the recall who are outside of the recall zone and are afraid of driving their cars should contact their dealerships. At this point in time, Toyota claims that no crashes or injuries have been caused by the recalled cars.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I would like to call the attention of vehicle owners affected by the recent recall. If you think your vehicle was impacted by the recall, check out the NHTSA's website. Also, in case you were injured because of the faulty airbag, you may have a product liability case against Toyota or other automakers involved. It is highly suggested that you seek assistance from a Kentucky Personal Injury Attorney. They will handle the legal side, so you can focus on recovering.