Airbags are meant to save lives. They inflate when a car has been in an accident so that a driver and passengers avoid injuries. However, when these devices malfunction, they cause more harm than good.
Common Airbag Malfunctions
Over the last two decades, 3 million vehicles have been recalled for airbag malfunctions. These problems occur for many reasons. At times, they over inflate and explode with extreme power, inflate at a wrong angle, or fail to inflate at all. Numerous reports show that airbags often deploy when cars experience sudden jerks from road conditions, contain faulty components, or have been installed incorrectly. This often leads to injuries. Although innovative ideas are always being created to make airbags safer, they pose a danger when malfunctions occur.
Injuries Linked to Airbag Malfunction
Although an airbag is designed to prevent injuries that result from a sudden car collision, malfunction during the inflation process can cause injuries as well. The most common harms include burns and abrasions. When airbags inflate faster than they should, they hit the skin at speeds over 200 miles an hour and create friction that burns.
A driver’s airbag is usually placed in the middle part of the steering wheel. Excessive force from a malfunctioning device can sprain the wrists or arms. In more severe situations, a malfunctioning airbag causes bone fractures, head trauma, brain injury, chest injury, or spinal damage. It is not impossible for a person to suffer an eye injury, a broken jaw, or a fatal neck injury as well.
When a defective airbag deploys, it can lead to respiratory issues. As an airbag inflates properly, it generates a harmless gas, which fills the bag. A normal bag contains holes for venting so that the gas can escape quickly. When malfunctions occur, inadequate filtering makes the gas spray out. Besides causing burns, it mixes with the bag’s lubricant to form a noxious combination. As a person inhales this blend of chemicals, breathing problems result.
Who is Responsible?
When an airbag malfunctions, it is important to identify who is responsible for compensation. An auto manufacturer must provide safe products to the public. Although a car manufacturer may not have created or designed the defective airbag, the company installed the product and should be held accountable. Besides using a defective device, a manufacturer’s team of technicians may contribute human error to the installation process, which leads to malfunction as well. There is no recourse but to hold these large car companies responsible for resulting airbag injuries.