A growing number of lawsuits have been filed by people who were injured after airbags failed to deploy in car accidents, or exploded and shot out metal shrapnel.
What You Can Do & How We Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting airbag failure induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or a loved one were injured or killed in an auto accident where the airbags failed to deploy or exploded metal shrapnel, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Car Accident Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
Safety Officials Issue Warning for 52 Million Airbag Inflators
In 2023, U.S. government safety officials warned that about 52 million airbag inflators made by ARC Automotive and Delphi Automotive were dangerously defective because they could rupture and explode metal shrapnel. At least 2 deaths and 7 injuries have been linked to these exploding airbags.
ARC and Delphi airbag inflators were manufactured between 2000 and January 2018, and installed in vehicles from 12 different auto-makers, including:
- Stellantis / Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA)
- General Motors (GM)
- Volkswagen (VW)
Kia Recalls 410,000 Vehicles for Risk of Airbag Failures
In January 2022, Kia recalled more than 410,000 vehicles to repair a problem that could prevent the airbags from deploying in a car accident. The problem was linked to 13 customer complaints and 947 warranty claims, but no injuries or deaths were reported at the time. Click here to read more.
What is the Problem?
From 1987 through 2017, frontal airbags saved over 50,000 lives, according to the NHTSA. For airbags to work correctly, a lot needs to happen in the blink of an eye. Not surprisingly, airbags can fail in many ways — they may not deploy at all, or too late, or they deploy so forcefully that they spray deadly metal shrapnel.
How Do Airbags Work?
When your vehicle hits a solid object with a certain amount of force, it activates sensors in your vehicle that send an electrical signal to the airbag. The airbag system’s electronic control unit triggers an inflator, which releases a lot of non-toxic nitrogen gas to inflate the airbag extremely quickly. Frontal airbags inflate in less than 1/20th of a second and side-impact airbags inflate even faster. After deploying, the airbags deflate to prevent the passengers from suffocating.
Why Do Airbags Fail to Deploy?
Airbags may not deploy in a car accident for several reasons, including:
- Collision was too minor to trigger the airbag
- Defective airbag (manufacturing mistakes)
- Airbag sensors failed to correctly detect an impact
- Faulty clock springs in the steering column
- Damaged wiring or electrical parts
- Airbag was not replaced after a previous accident
- Airbags may automatically turn off if the vehicle senses a child or small-statured adult sitting in the right front passenger seat
What Happens to Passengers?
Airbags failures can result in severe injuries or death to passengers. In a head-on collision, the driver’s head and upper body can hit the windshield, steering wheel and dashboard. Passengers can hit the interior of the vehicle when side-impact or curtain airbags fail after “T-bone” accidents (also known as broadside collisions) and rollovers.
Common Injuries After Airbag Failures
- Face injuries from hitting the windshield, steering wheel or interior of the vehicle
- Neck injuries (whiplash)
- Back injuries (herniated discs)
- Cuts, scrapes and bruises
- Permanent scarring
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Brain injuries
- Organ damage
- Spinal cord damage (paralysis)
Who Can I Sue for Faulty Airbags?
If your airbag failed to deploy in a car accident and you suffered severe injuries, you may have a lawsuit against the car manufacturer, airbag manufacturer, dealership or previous owner, and others.
Lawsuits have also been filed when airbags shot out metal shrapnel. These lawsuits involve people who were seriously injured (or family members of people who died) after defective airbag inflators ruptured and exploded jagged pieces of metal that hit victims in the face, neck, chest, or body.
What is the Average Settlement for Airbag Failure Lawsuits?
There is no average settlement because lawsuits involving airbag failures are so different. When filing a lawsuit for airbag failures, you can seek compensation for any losses you or a loved one incurred. This may include medical expenses, permanent injuries, lost income, pain and suffering, wrongful death of a family member, and more.
Federal Safety Officials Investigate ZF Airbags After Deadly Car Accidents
In October 2020, a lawsuit was filed alleging that ZF-TRW airbags in around 15 million vehicle can fail to deploy in a car accident. The NHTSA began investigating the problem in 2019, according to Car Complaints after a crash killed 4 people and injured six.
The NHTSA explained in its investigation summary:
“These control units may suffer electrical overstress due to harmful signals (electrical transients) produced by the crash event, causing the unit to stop working during the crash.”
Federal safety officials are investigating all vehicles with ZF-TRW airbag, including around 15 million vehicles from Acura, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Mitsubishi, Ram, and Toyota.
Do I have an Airbag Failure Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting airbag failure induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or a loved one were injured or killed in an auto accident where the airbags failed to deploy or exploded, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Car Accident Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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