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How a design defect can turn a car accident into a fatal one

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By this time, there are few people in the nation that have not heard about the massive recall involving several automakers and roughly 32 million vehicles that may contain faulty airbags. So far, the defective airbags have been responsible for more than 100 injuries and eight deaths. And despite efforts by the airbag’s manufacturer, Takata Corp., experts still aren’t quite sure what exactly is causing these airbags to perform in such an unsafe manner.

Because of the size of the recall, a number of our New York readers may be affected. That’s why in today’s post we’d like to talk about what this recall could mean for our readers, particularly if your vehicle has a Takata airbag and you have been involved in an accident.

The danger in your vehicle

Because of a design defect in Takata’s airbags, what was once a safety feature has now become a serious danger in affected vehicles. As reports indicate, Takata uses ammonium nitrate in its airbags which, as some experts point out, can explode violently if it is exposed to moisture. These violent explosions cause the airbags to spray metal shrapnel in both drivers and passengers who are at risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries in crashes.

What this means for our readers

As you may or may not know, product liability laws here in New York require that manufacturers of defective products be held liable for the injuries and deaths their products cause. This can be done through civil litigation, particularly personal injury and wrongful death claims, and may lead to compensation for victims and their families.

Though litigation, in this case, could be complicated by the fact that Takata Corp. is not a U.S. company, our laws should still apply, meaning victims and their families could be owed compensation for the injuries and deaths these defective airbags caused. Claims would need to be filed with the help of a skilled car accident injury attorney, which is something our readers may need to keep in mind if they believe they have been affected by Takata’s mistake.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Takata Air-Bag Probe Points to Leaky Seals,” Yoko Kubota, July 16, 2015

By: Andrew Levine

Andrew J. Levine is co-owner at Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, P.C. in New York, NY. A graduate of Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. For 15 years he has been widely trusted and respected as a formidable attorney but acknowledged as a reasonable and ethical collaborator who impresses clients, judges and jurors alike. Andrew has been featured in New York Magazine as one of New York’s “Top Personal Injury Litigators” and recognized by Super Lawyers as a “Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in New York.” View all posts by Andrew Levine

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