Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Is the cure worse than the disease?

Last week, we discussed the problems with the Takata airbags that have been installed in millions of Honda, Toyota, BMW, General Motors and other car manufacturer's vehicles. The airbags can explode in such a manner as to spray the passenger compartment with metal shards that can be deadly. Four individuals have died in explosions traced to these airbag explosions in car accidents.

The large number of vehicles involved in the has created another problem. Not enough airbags. Even though issues involving these airbags have been simmering for a decade, apparently no one expected it would eventually grow as large has it has. 

The large number of vehicles involved in the has created another problem. Not enough airbags. Even though issues involving these airbags have been simmering for a decade, apparently no one expected it would eventually grow as large has it has.

Takata does not keep millions of spare airbags in inventory, which means current supplies of replacement airbags could be exhausted relatively quickly. This has led one manufacturer to indicate it would follow a unique path.

Toyota stated that the defective airbags have only been used on the passenger side of vehicles. So, to prevent further injuries from defectively exploding airbags, they intend to turn off the bags and place a sticker that warns that the airbag has been disabled.

The warning label would also advise that no one ride in the front passenger seat until the airbag is replaced.

GM has said it will not disable airbags, and if a shortage develops, they will issue loaner vehicles. Honda had not indicated what it would do, as it has the most vehicles subject to the recall, at five million.

Some are questioning if this is a good strategy. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given clearance, there are concerns that this could lead to more injuries than if they left the airbags functioning.

CNNMoney.com, "The fix for exploding airbags may be more deadly than the problem," Chris Isidore, October 31, 2014

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