Airbags are such a crucial element of automotive safety that, decades ago, lawmakers passed a law requiring automakers to include them in all new vehicles. Since then, car manufacturers have continued to advance the technology in an attempt to meet and surpass safety standards. However, instead of protecting drivers and passengers in California and beyond, recent defects in the airbag inflators have placed those lives in danger, prompting auto defect class actions across the country.
Over the past several years, car manufactures have taken a series of hits in the form of massive recalls because of airbag defects. Some analysts fear that 2018 could be another year of record-breaking recalls. Despite the frantic pace at which automakers attempt to address the issues with Takata inflators and other airbag elements, they lost about $22 billion in 2016, and that total only includes the U.S. market. One study revealed that about 20 percent of all cars manufactured in the United States were recalled that year.
Because so many automakers now share components of features like airbags and ignition switches, what might once have been a defect contained within tens of thousands of vehicles may now affect millions of cars. Volkswagen alone is holding a bill for about $30 billion following a defect scandal. Takata, the supplier of the billions of defective airbags, filed bankruptcy last year.
The highest cost of defective parts in motor vehicles is the loss of life and devastating injuries drivers and passengers suffer when the parts fail. Airbag explosions alone have resulted in 22 deaths and been blamed for hundreds of injuries in California and around the world. Consumers have the right to seek just compensation after an auto defect causes them suffering. Since individual lawsuits may be ineffective, many contact an attorney about joining auto defect class actions.
Source: thedetroitbureau.com, "Recall Costs Topping $20B Annually as Safety Defects Grow", Paul A. Einstein, Feb. 2, 2018