Airbag recalls: Dangerous airbags could lead to injuries or death

When you're driving, you hope that nothing will go wrong. You watch out for dangerous drivers, and you make sure you're handling your car with care.

Sometimes, the problem isn't with drivers or how they're driving. Instead, the problem lies in the vehicle itself. For instance, if an airbag isn't installed correctly, it could deploy unexpectedly and cause a serious crash.

That's what has been happening with the Takata airbag crisis. The Takata airbag recall has been going on for many years, as far back as 2001. In December 2017, the 20th death attributed to problems with the airbags was reported in Louisiana. The vehicle was a Honda Civic from 2004; the airbag had been salvaged from a 2002 vehicle and had not been replaced.

It's believed that the owners did receive notices about the recall, but they didn't replace the airbag with a new one. It's not clear if they realized that the previously replaced airbag was also faulty. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that only around 65 percent of Hondas affected by Takata's recall had been repaired as of 2017; other autos had even fewer repairs ranging from 2 to 50 percent of their vehicles.

If you're someone who has one of these vehicles or others affected by the recall, know your rights. If you're hurt, you can seek a claim against the manufacturer for failing to make sure its devices were safe before they were installed. You may also have cases against other parties, depending on when you purchased your vehicle and if it received the repairs it was meant to have before it was sold to you.

Source: Fox News, "20th death attributed to Takata airbag," accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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