Many motor vehicle recalls are voluntary. Manufacturers who identify design flaws or receive reports of defective components or systems in their vehicles can contact owners about the problem. Voluntary recalls often involve companies covering the cost of repairs or replacement parts. Recalls help limit the liability that companies have for defective products.
Still, some motor vehicle manufacturers try to avoid a recall, even if they know their vehicle has a potentially life-threatening issue. The Ford Motor Company tried filing paperwork to prevent a recall of their vehicles, only to wind up mandated to recall millions of vehicles because of dangerous driver-side airbags.
Takata airbags have endangered millions of Americans
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered the recall this month because the Takata airbag inflators can rupture and send pieces of metallic shrapnel flying. In recent years, there has been a steady stream of vehicle recalls by numerous manufacturers involving the same airbag manufacturer.
Airbags are potentially life-saving devices that consumers should be able to rely on if they get in to a crash. Unfortunately, these defective units can endanger drivers, especially when exposed to high levels of humidity for a long time.
Defective airbags could mean not having protection in the event of a crash. They could also cause a crash if they rupture while the vehicle is in motion. A defective airbag can cause serious cuts and other injuries when they deploy.
Consumers who suffer injuries as a result of a defective product may be able to bring a legal claim against the product manufacturer. An experienced attorney can help.