VanNess & VanNess, P.A.
352-436-4333

Auto product liability and federal probes of faulty air bags

Auto Product Liability can be a contributing factor in a car accident. We have been hearing about the dangers of Takata air bags for years. Some of these devices have inflators that become unstable and explode with so much force that metal shards are sent flying through vehicles. This can cause serious or even fatal injuries. Air bags are intended to save lives, not cause serious harm or wrongful death. 

Globally, nearly two dozen people have died from injuries caused by defective air bags, most of them in the U.S. Millions of vehicles have been recalled and in just the past several weeks many more recalls were issued. Despite these actions, an estimated 17 million potentially faulty inflators remain in the cars we drive. Heat and humidity contribute to the decay and deterioration of air bags which makes driving an affected vehicle in Florida a major concern. 

Slow investigations

Takata is not the only company under scrutiny. ARC Automotive Inc. of Tennessee is also a target of federal probes. However, investigations into this type of auto product liability are moving very slowly.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that as many as 8 million U.S. cars have inflators produced by ARC. Shrapnel from these devices was responsible for serious injuries in at least two accidents. One such incident of air bag failure in 2016 tragically claimed a woman's life. In another more recent car accident a man suffered very serious injuries. That car accident prompted a recall of nearly 1,200 sedans. Replacement of the air bags in question is expected to be completed sometime next month.

Meanwhile, public records reflect slow progress in resolving a broad array of automotive defects. The NHTSA began its probe into ARC in 2015, and in October 2016 it threatened to fine the company for failing to cooperate. Whether or not cooperation since then has improved isn't clear, and the NHTSA says only that its review of information continues.

Victims of car accidents work very hard to recover from the serious injuries they suffer. These victims and their families expect professionals and regulatory agencies to determine and hold accountable those responsible for their injuries. Establishing negligence on the part of a driver, and others, who contributed to the cause of an accident by failing to repair a known defective product can open the door for victims and their families to seek additional compensation. This is a legal argument best handled by highly qualified attorneys. At VanNess & VanNess, P.A. our attorneys are experienced, resourceful, and effective when it comes to seeking compensation through all legal remedies available. Please call our office today for more information. 

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