AAA is reaching out to drivers to encourage them to have a large number of air bags repaired or replaced as soon as they can. A recall was issued in 2015 covering vehicles in Louisiana and across the country that had certain Takata air bags installed. These air bags pose a serious risk to both drivers and passengers, and roughly 15.4 million vehicles remain on the road with these air bags equipped. According to a senior manager of traffic safety for AAA, the air bags will be repaired for free at dealerships all over the country.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a recall of the air bags in May 2015, but there was a parts shortage initially that forced drivers to wait for long periods before the repairs could be done. The required parts are now widely available for most vehicles, and the repair work can take as little as a few hours.
The problem with the air bags is a defective inflator mechanism that can degrade over time, causing the air bag to rupture during a car accident. This malfunction can result in metal fragments being propelled into the vehicle cabin, potentially injuring occupants. According to the NHTSA, more than 250 people have been injured in such incidents since 2009, and 16 people have been killed. Drivers can visit the NHTSA recall website to determine if their vehicles are affected by the recall.
People who are injured due to defective products may have claims for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses and other damages. An attorney who has experience handling product liability cases might be able to help by identifying parties who may be liable and then taking the case to trial if a satisfactory settlement can’t be obtained.