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More vehicles could have defective airbags, says NHTSA

Drivers in Arizona have enough dangers to deal with while behind the wheel. They must contend with reckless drivers, drunk drivers and even distracted ones. Because of these dangers, many cars have updated safety equipment, including airbags that inflate in a split second after an accident that are supposed to cushion the impact a driver’s head would have with their dashboard.

Airbags are touted as devices that can save lives. And for the most part, they have. However, a recent warning from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that many airbags could be dangerous themselves. The warning comes on the heels of a discovery that the canister in the center of an airbag could disintegrate when the airbag inflates, sending tiny pieces of metal everywhere as if it were shrapnel.

Federal officials initially thought that 4.7 million vehicles across the U.S. could be affected, as the maker of the airbag has its product in a number of Honda, Toyota, Nissan and BMW models. However, the government revised its numbers upon learning new information about just how many potentially defective airbags had been installed in the past few years. Authorities now believe that more than 7 million vehicles could be affected.

The urgent call for vehicles to be repaired still stands. However, it could be some time before many of the vehicles could be repaired given that there may not be enough replacement airbags. Nevertheless, the duty that automakers have in notifying consumers and repairing defective vehicles as soon as possible still applies. Additionally, if a consumer is injured by a defective airbag, the automaker could still be held liable.

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