Posted in News on October 30, 2014
Montana residents may have recently heard that the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has warned that about 4.7 million car owners may need to bring their cars in to their respective dealers; the reason is to get their airbags checked and potentially fixed if the bags are deemed a defective and dangerous product.
According to reports, the cause of this massive car defect has been narrowed down to the inflator mechanisms rupturing when the airbag is deployed, which in turn could potentially cause broken metal shards and fragments to fly out at very high velocities and injure the occupants of the vehicle. Investigators have pinpointed the faulty inflator mechanisms as belonging to airbag inflators manufactured by the Tokyo-based Takata Corporation.
Federal regulators got involved in the recall after a car crash in Orlando, Florida in late September. The accident occurred when the driver, a 51-year-old woman, took a left turn in the path of an oncoming vehicle, which caused the front end of her vehicle to impact the front end of the other car. The driver lost her life due to severe neck injuries that investigators believe could have been sustained when broken metal fragments were launched directly at her when the airbag deployed.
The metal shards are believed to have severely lacerated the right side of her neck. The original report noted that the woman’s seat belt did not cause her neck injuries; additionally, there did not appear to be pieces of glass lying around which could have caused the woman’s injuries. An airbag expert has been called in to help with the investigation to help determine conclusively whether the defect played a role in the serious injuries which led to the driver’s death. The woman had been driving a 2001 Honda Accord, which happened to be one of the models listed in the recall.
The defect affects cars made by several different companies, including Ford, Mazda, Honda, Nissan, BMW and Toyota. The faulty inflators could be located in either the driver’s side or passenger side airbags. If the defect affects a specific car model, the NHTSA strongly urges car owners to use an online tool to determine if the specific model is affected and to get the issue fixed.
Source: Yahoo News, “Correction: Air bag recall story,” October 22, 2014