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Millions of U.S. Motorists Unaware of Airbag Hazard

Posted By Legal Team | May 31 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents, Product Liability

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is demanding that an airbags manufacturer, ARC Automotive of Knoxville, Tennessee, recall 67 million inflators that could explode and expel shrapnel, potentially injuring or killing drivers. But ARC is refusing to do so, essentially putting millions of drivers at risk who could otherwise get their airbags repaired or replaced. Just ask our Chicago accident attorneys!

Some 33 million people in the U.S. are driving vehicles that contain the potentially deadly inflator. In a letter to ARC, NHTSA argues that the recall is justified because two people have been killed in the U.S. and Canada and at least seven others have been injured by ARC’s inflators. The explosions, which first occurred in 2009, have continued as recently as this year.

Manufacturer Fights Recall

After an investigation that lasted for eight years, NHTSA tentatively concluded that the inflators are defective. The agency’s documents show that the inflators date from at least the 2002 model year to January 2018, when ARC installed equipment on its manufacturing lines that could detect potential safety problems.

In a response this month to the NHTSA, ARC maintains that no safety defect exists and that NHTSA’s demand is based on a hypothesis. The agency itself has no authority to order a parts manufacturer to carry out recalls, according to ARC officials, which it claims are the responsibility of automakers.

Takata Airbag Recall

This is not the first time that an attempt has been made to have airbags recalled. A January 2020 recall of 10 million Takata airbags is the last one that the bankrupt Takata company agreed to in a 2015 settlement with safety regulators.

Our injury lawyers in Chicago represent severely injured people, some of whom were harmed by the faulty Takata airbags. In a news story airing on June 30, 2021, Smith LaCien founding partner Brian LaCien and the firm’s client Tyler Meier discussed the importance of getting automotive recalls repaired during a “WGN Investigates” TV segment on the June 30, 2021, evening newscast.

If you or someone that you care about has been injured or died in an accident that you believe may have been caused by faulty parts, the Chicago product liability attorneys at Smith LaCien can answer your questions or conduct an independent investigation. We handle cases on a contingency basis, which means we don’t get paid anything unless we win. To learn more about how we can help you, call us at (312) 509-8900 or contact us using our online form.

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