Several years ago, several manufacturers of mid-sized sedans, including Honda, Ford and Mazda, and the manufacturer of airbags used in their vehicles, were sued by persons alleging that they had been injured by a defective airbag inflator that appeared to detonate even when the vehicle was not in a forceful collision.
The manufacturer of the airbag, Takata Corp., was forced to recall over 67 million airbags because the explosions were caused by a defective inflator chemical that deteriorated and became unstable in hot and humid climates.
A Houston woman has recently sued a Brazoria County Ford Motor dealership, alleging that the dealership negligently failed to replace the airbag in her brother’s 2007 Ford Mustang.
In her complaint, the woman alleges that she was a passenger in her brother’s Mustang when the airbag detonator exploded in a crash. Photos attached to the complaint show that the impact of the collision was not severe enough to cause both driver and passenger airbags to inflate.
The plaintiff alleges that she lost her left eye and suffered hearing damage and deep cuts to her face when the exploding detonator sent metal fragments spraying inside the vehicle.
The complaint alleges that the vehicle was taken to a Ford dealership in Brazoria County in October of 2018 – 2 years before the accident that injured the plaintiff – to have the airbags replaced. The dealership replaced the driver-side airbag but not the passenger airbag.
During depositions in an earlier phase of the Takata litigation, documents showed that Ford was aware of the need to replace both airbags, but no one seems to be able to explain why only one airbag was replaced by the dealership.
Legal advice can really help
Takata has subsequently filed for bankruptcy and has established a trust fund to compensate victims of the defective airbag inflators. Whether the plaintiff, in this case, will receive a portion of the trust fund has not yet been determined.
A negligently performed recall can give rise to the liability of whoever performed the recall. Anyone wondering about recovering damages may wish to consult an experienced auto accident attorney.