Potentially exploding airbags subject of latest recall

In our last post, we highlighted the recalls issued by Chrysler Corporation to address ignition switch issues similar to those found in General Motors’ vehicles. Auto recalls have been a recurring theme in 2014, with a number of automakers potentially recalling more vehicles this year than in 2013.

The latest recalls may affect millions of cars made by Japanese automakers Nissan, Honda and Mazda. Essentially, the cars may have airbags that could explode, instead of deploying properly to protect passengers. More than two million Hondas are slated to be recalled, while more than 160,000 Mazdas are being brought back to dealers for repairs. Additionally, 755,000 Nissans will be affected. They all follow the recall issued by Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, for a similar defect.

As we have noted in prior posts, recalls are vitally important because the continuing duty that automakers have to inform consumers of potential defects that could harm them. For instance, if an automaker discovers (or should have discovered) that a seatbelt has the potential to malfunction, the automaker has a responsibility to inform consumers of the problem and request that the car be brought back to the manufacturer (or the dealer) for repairs.

If an automaker fails to disclose the problem, and the defect is later found to be the proximate cause of a consumer’s injuries, the automaker could be held liable for the injuries. As of the time of the ABC News report that broke the story, no injuries due to defective airbags had been reported. However, as more information is gathered about the defects, this number could change.

Source: ABC News.com “ Honda, Mazda and Nissan issue recalls over airbags,” Yuri Kageyama, June 23, 2014

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