Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata has admitted that they produced an airbag that has the potential to spray shrapnel when released.
In a hearing in the US, the company stated that the number of faulty airbags is much greater than they previously thought and is likely to affect 53 million cars across the globe - 34 million of these in the US.
Takata has not discovered the cause of the fault but suspects it may be due to moisture infiltrating the defective inflators over time. The moisture affects the chemicals used to set off the airbag, causing the bag to react with too much force, sending metal shards into the car.
This defect has been linked to the death of six people and more than 100 injuries.
The car brands that are affected include Mazda, BMW, Lexus, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz.
Unfortunately, the company is having trouble contacting car owners as the cars with the affected airbags were typically made between 2003 and 2007, and many may now be on the used car market.
So far, the recall has only taken place in the US and Australia but there may be more countries affected by the faulty airbags. In the UK, Nissan are to recall a selection of their cars and the relevant owners will be contacted in June.
Product recalls for faulty products are common but not usually on this scale. In the UK there are recalls every day for minor, and major, concerns for public wellbeing, be it food or other products. In a previous blog we discussed the recall of Takata airbags but before we knew the scale of the problem. You can read this here.
When you buy a product you have the legal right to purchase something that is as described, of a satisfactory quality, and is fit for purpose. In the instance of these airbags this isn’t the case but there is no way of knowing if you are affected until the moment you need them, and then it may be too late. If you are worried about your car’s airbag you may wish to contact your car dealership for advice.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have represented many people who have had problems with faulty products. If you have legal concerns about faulty products or product recalls our Consumer Law and Litigation Solicitors at Slater and Gordon can help. Call us on freephone 0808 175 7758 or contact us online and we will call you.