Defective air bag leads Suzuki to recall almost 200,000 vehicles
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), airbag deployment during a car accident can easily lead to severe injuries, or even death, among young children. Consequently, the CDC recommends that children under the age of 13-years should always ride in the back seat in order to reduce this possible risk.
However, as most parents have experienced, there are simply situations in which children riding in the front seat is unavoidable, such as when the vehicle is a single cab pick-up truck or when the backseat is already full.
Because of this, many car manufacturers have developed seat sensors that can weigh the front-seat passenger in order to establish if the occupant is a child or not. Then, the vehicle’s onboard computer will determine if it will turn the airbag off, or merely reduce the speed of deployment – whichever is safest for the passenger.
Sadly, however, Suzuki has just announced the recall of 193,936 motor vehicles due to a defect in these vehicles’ airbag passenger seat sensors. Specifically, the recall – which impacts Grand Vitara SUVS from 2006 through 2011 and SX4 cars from 2007 through 2011 – stems from an issue in which the sensor mats used in these vehicles’ passenger seats can stop functioning after repeated flexing. And, if these sensors malfunction, it is possible that the airbag will deploy in an accident even if a small child is in the seat, thus putting the child’s safety at risk.
Thankfully, Suzuki reports that they are not aware of any accidents or injuries attributed to their defective airbags as of yet. The Japanese car manufacturer stated that they would start notifying vehicle owners next month about free sensor mat replacements.
Dangers of defective airbags
Although no injuries have been attributed to the recent airbag recall, that does not mean that defective airbags carry zero risk of injury – it is quite the opposite. Moreover, the dangers associated with defective airbags are not specific to children. In fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that in 2001 defective airbags led to the deaths of 158 individuals.
If you or a loved one has been injured in car accident due to a defective airbag, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced products liability attorney. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney can not only assist in reviewing the facts of your case, but also help determine what your damages may be and who may be responsible.