New York drivers should note that a new type of airbag inflator has been added to the largest automotive recall to hit the country. An additional 2.7 million vehicles are now being recalled as they have an inflator that has proven to be unsafe. The manufacturers involved are Ford, Mazda, and Nissan.
Some of the inflators for the vehicle airbag safety devices, meant to provide protection for drivers and passengers in a crash, can explode too forcefully. This means that shrapnel can be released, injuring vehicle occupants.
The previously-recalled defective air bag inflators have been the cause of at least 17 deaths and 180 injuries across the United States. Not counting the 2.7 million, up to 42 million vehicles with 69 million installed inflators have been recalled for repairs to the devices.
One type of chemical used in inflators, ammonium nitrate, can deteriorate when exposed to high heat and humidity. Previously, a drying agent was believed to stop the degradation of the chemical, rendering the other inflators safe. However, tests have shown that these inflators could also pose a danger to drivers and their passengers. Takata, the manufacturer of the devices, filed for bankruptcy in June because of the replacement cost for the millions of faulty inflators. A competitor will be purchasing most of its assets.
Companies have a responsibility to provide safe products to the market that will not injure their customers. That responsibility isn’t always limited to the manufacturer, however. Under product liability law, other parties in the chain of distribution could be held responsible in the event that a product harms people. An attorney could help an injured victim who is seeking compensation for medical bills and other losses.