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Federal Investigators Dig In to a Decade of Airbag Defects

In 2004, a Honda airbag exploded, shooting shrapnel into its driver. That was the first of a decade of explosions, some fatal, experienced by Honda drivers. But despite 9 separate limited recalls, the problem persists. Now federal safety regulators are getting involved.

The Airbag Defects

The problem comes back to the Takata air bag manufacturer, based in Mexico. Their air bags have been built in to more than 14 million vehicles out of 11 automakers including Toyota, BMW, Nissan, Chrysler, and Mazda.

Takata has admitted to lax policies and technical errors affecting the explosives used in airbag propulsion. Those problems made the explosives prone to “overly energetic combustion” even in otherwise minor accidents.

Federal investigators didn’t get involved until November 2009, and even then the case was closed after only 6 months for “insufficient information.” Now they are looking in to the matter again.

Defects and No-Fault Liability

What happens if there’s a defect involved in your auto accident? In Michigan, your first recourse is to your no-fault insurance provider. The provider is required to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses resulting from the crash.

But if there’s a defect in the vehicle, it can make the lawsuit much more complicated. Just like the 139 people injured by the Takata airbags, you may not know that there was a defect before the accident. But when you sue the insurance company, they’ll pass the buck to the auto manufacturer. Suddenly, your lawsuit will be against two heavy-hitting defendants instead of just one.

If a mechanical defect caused the accident and your injury, the insurance company won’t be responsible for your injuries. Instead you will be able to collect your damages, including pain, suffering, disability, and other “intangible” injuries from the auto maker (like Honda) or the parts manufacturer (like Takata). But would the accident would have happened without the defect? Suddenly your lawsuit will be filled with expert opinions and technical details.

That’s why you need to hire the auto law experts at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. They know how to take on no-fault insurance providers and auto industry lawyers alike. David Christensen and his team will help you make sure your injuries are covered. If you or someone you love has been in a serious auto accident, contact Christensen Law for a free consultation today.