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NHTSA issues stern warning about airbags

Despite the number of recalls initiated in 2014, they are actually a relatively common part of doing business for automakers. In fact, they have a continuing legal duty to conduct recalls when they discover (or should have discovered) dangerous defects that could put consumers in danger. If an automaker fails to notify consumers or initiate a recall, it could be held liable if a driver (or passenger) is injured in a crash caused by the defect.

Against this backdrop, it is expected that a number of automakers will call for their vehicles to be brought back to dealerships across the United States after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a warning calling for owners of cars with Takata Corporation airbags to immediately bring their vehicles in so that faulty airbags can be replaced. 

The NHTSA and safety advocates were concerned that the internal canister that carries the airbag could explode and essentially disintegrate; thus sending shards of metal flying into the driver (and into other passengers). The message to car owners was especially immediate for those living in warm, humid climates. The injury concern is of prime importance, considering that a Florida woman was reportedly killed after her airbag exploded. Investigators found a multitude of small stab wounds around her face and neck and concluded that the airbag fragments were the cause.

The automakers affected are a who’s who of industry leaders, including Toyota, BMW, Honda, Chrysler, Nissan, General Motors and Mazda. It remains to be seen whether any people in LaCrosse County in Wisconsin have been injured in this regard. 

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