When people purchase a car, they now look at advanced safety features, often not even considering the quality of other features such as airbags, which are now in most vehicles on the road. However, these airbags provide drivers with great protection in certain accidents. When they function properly they might be lifesaving.
According to a report, a very popular brand of airbags has been recalled. The company that manufactured the airbags, Takata Corp., which is based in Japan, but supplies airbags to car manufacturers around the world, said that some of its airbags pose an explosion risk. Numerous reports from various car manufacturers suggest the propellant that expands the airbag might explode, sending shrapnel into the vehicle and possibly the occupants.
For that reason, approximately 3 million vehicles are being recalled that contain these airbags, and more recalls could come as the investigation into the dangerous product continues. The propellant in these airbags is supposed to be time released, but it can expand too quickly causing a canister in the airbag mechanism to explode. It appears that Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Nissan and GM vehicles might be affected by the recall and other companies are also looking into their cars and trucks.
An explosion like this would only be triggered if a person was in an accident that triggered the airbag. While it is reassuring that no reports have suggested the airbag explodes while driving normally, an accident is when people need these airbags to function properly. It is important that manufacturers are held accountable if their defective products cause injuries to people.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Huge recall for Honda, Toyota, more: Airbags can spray shrapnel,” Jerry Hirsch, April 11, 2013
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