Manufacturer carelessness may cause a defect in a vehicle’s design or production process. When employees ignore an important step on an assembly line they may, for example, miss finding a defective seatbelt or airbag.
An individual who bought a faulty vehicle may file a legal action to recover damages. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may then take notice of a buyer’s lawsuit. This typically results in a vehicle recall so other owners do not experience the same harm.
The investigation uncovers explosive airbags
The NHTSA recalled vehicles made by nearly 20 manufacturers over concerns of defective airbags. The investigation found the defect in car models made between 2002 and 2015. Owners had to bring their vehicles to a repair shop to replace the faulty components. According to Consumer Reports, the airbag supplier produced them with a dangerous chemical. The substance could cause the airbag to explode.
At least 400 individuals sustained injuries because of the airbag’s inflator, which contained propellant wafers in a metal cartridge. During a crash, metal shards from an inflated airbag scattered inside the car. In addition to injuries, as many as 15 deaths occurred.
40,000 Arizona residents affected
The suit filed against one particular vehicle manufacturer centered on its employees not catching the defect or attempting to conceal it. As reported by KTAR News, the settlement requires the manufacturer to pay as much as $5 million to cover airbag replacements and repair incentives for about 40,000 Arizona vehicle owners.
Regardless of its recall actions, a vehicle manufacturer that allows a defective or dangerous component to go out to its customers may also face liability for any resulting injuries or deaths. Manufacturers have a duty of care to ensure that their products are safe and free of defects that may cause harm.