For several years, stories of defective and dangerous airbags have been making headlines across the U.S. Many people are likely aware of the defect, and millions of people are affected by it, as roughly 46 million defective airbag inflators have been recalled. Criminal charges have been filed; class action lawsuits have been filed; multi-million dollar settlements have been reached.
Still, according to this recent report, roughly 10 million airbag inflators at the highest risk of rupturing are still in use. And this number doesn't even reflect the unrepaired vehicles in lower-priority recall groups. In other words, carmakers still have an incredibly long way to go in replacing defective airbags.
The slow pace apparently stems from multiple issues, according to automakers and reports. These include:
- Troubles with getting replacement parts
- Difficulty finding owners of affected vehicles
- Inability to persuade motorists to get their vehicle repaired
- Lack of leadership in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The fact that defective airbags remain in so many vehicles is troubling for a number of reasons. Primarily, it means that millions of people are still at risk of being seriously injured or killed by deployed airbags that release shrapnel at drivers. It also means that many car companies are not able or willing to take the steps necessary to get their replacement completion rates up where they should be.
Unfortunately, the consumers who own these vehicles are ultimately the ones who will have to pay the price for a defective airbag that is not replaced.
If you or a loved one is injured as a result of a defective airbag or any other defective auto part, you may be eligible to file a legal claim as part of a class action or on your own. In order to assess your legal options, you can discuss your case with an attorney experienced in filing claims involving defective car parts.