Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP
Treating California’s Injured With Dignity And Respect

Defective products, an airbag can save or take a life

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Defective Products

The 1950s were an era when many new inventions came into existence that improved safety or added convenience to everyday consumers, homemakers, motorists, workers and more. It was during that era when automobile “inflatable bladders,” now commonly referred to as airbags, were first in vehicles in California and throughout the country. Since then, however, airbags have been on defective products lists more than once.  

Faulty airbags can cause severe injuries or death. In fact, between 1990 and 2008, close to 300 fatalities occurred due to airbag deployment in low-speed collisions. In such crashes, it was the drivers and front seat passengers who were most at risk. As a driver or passenger, you’re obligated to adhere to traffic and safety laws. However, it’s not your responsibility to make sure the airbags in your vehicle are safe. You can expect that the auto manufacturer has done that.  

Dangers of defective products, especially airbags 

How can you, as a consumer, know whether an auto manufacturer has released a vehicle for sale that contains defective products? You have no way of knowing this, unless perhaps a recall is issued because of adverse events or consumer complaints. The following list shows some of the issues that are often involved with faulty airbags:  

  • Failure to deploy upon impact 
  • Premature or delayed deployment 
  • Inadequate force upon deployment 
  • Defective parts 

As you may recall, in 2015, the largest auto recall in U.S. history took place after more than 20 fatalities and more than 250 injuries occurred because of defective airbags. If you own a recalled vehicle, you may have the option, in some cases, of having the airbag replaced.  

Improve safety when airbags are on 

Responsibility for auto and travel safety does not lie 100% with auto manufacturers. As mentioned earlier, as a driver or passenger, you must adhere to traffic and safety laws. There are several voluntary things you can do to improve safety as well, such as those included in this list:  

  • If you are pregnant or short in stature, avoid sitting too close to the steering wheel. 
  • Never allow a child to ride in the front passenger seat. 
  • Teach children to avoid leaning against the side of a vehicle if there are side airbags in place. 
  • Do not use aftermarket seat covers as they can impede airbag function. 
  • Front seat passengers should not rest their arms or feet on the airbag section of the vehicle. 

Even if you take all available precautions, you are still at risk if there are defective products installed in your vehicle, like a faulty airbag.  When another party is liable for injuries that occur, you can seek financial recovery for your losses.  

It’s bad enough when another California driver causes a collision; when defective products in the vehicle are a primary cause of injury, it’s even worse. State law allows you to seek justice against auto manufacturers and other parties who may be liable for your injuries.