Imagine you owned a vehicle which contains a defective Takata airbag inflator that has been recalled by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), but General Motors, the vehicle’s manufacturer, is still trying to avoid recalling the vehicles and replacing the defective part. You have heard the stories of the defective inflators deploying and exploding in the faces of drivers and passengers, causing 250 injuries and 16 fatalities, and you wonder if your airbag might be the next to deploy unexpectedly. For the fourth year in a row, GM has requested an exemption from the NHTSA recall of the defective part.
General Motors claims to have tested 4,270 of the defective inflators by exposing them to humidity and extreme temperatures without a rupture. In a story in the Detroit News, the automaker was quoted from a statement that it is confident that its testing shows that the inflators do not present an unreasonable risk to safety.
An article on Jalopnik reports the following GMT900 trucks as being included in the defective Takata airbag recall:
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- GMC Sierra 1500
- Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500
- GMC Sierra 2500/3500
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- Chevrolet Suburban
- Chevrolet Avalanche
- GMC Yukon
- GMC Yukon XL
- Cadillac Escalade
- Cadillac Escalade ESV
- Cadillac Escalade EXT
Starting in 2015, the NHTSA ordered Takata, the Japanese air bag manufacturer, to recall its defective airbags. GM petitioned in 2016 and each year since then to have its vehicles excluded from the Takata airbag recall. The Detroit News story quoted GM vehicle owners accusing GM of stalling. Drivers are nervous about the possibility of the airbag exploding. Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety in Washington, D.C., said “By submitting a fourth request, GM continues to essentially tell the public that their Takata airbags are safe, thus avoiding the recall without making enough information publicly available to prove such a claim.”
How to find out about automotive safety recalls
The NHTSA has a consumer website, safercar.gov, which includes a database of recalled vehicles and parts. You can visit the website, type in your vehicle’s VIN number and get information about the Takata recall, or any other safety recall that might affect your car’s make, model and year.
The experienced Chicago car accident lawyers at Gainsberg Law have the knowledge and experience and have represented many, many passengers that have sustained serious injuries in car accidents. You may call 312-600-9585 or email us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.