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Potentially hazardous airbags may lead to product liability suits

Our Atlanta readers may be interested to learn that the Better Business Bureau and the U.S. Department of Transportation are warning consumers of possible dangers associated with counterfeit airbags. Unbeknownst to many automobile repair shops, they have received a variety of counterfeit airbags, many looking identical to name brand airbags, and have installed them in vehicles involved in accidents.

While no one has reported any injuries or fatalities due to these counterfeit airbags as of yet, at least one study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revealed a counterfeit airbag to be a potentially dangerous product. Results indicate the equipment may fail to deploy in an accident, or may scatter metal debris upon inflation.

The NHTSA has stated cars that have had their airbags replaced in the last three years are at risk, and owners should have their airbags inspected by auto repair professionals to determine if they received a counterfeit. The manufacturers of cars most likely to be at risk have established consumer call centers that can address further questions.

Anyone who is injured by what is established to be a dangerous product may have a claim for legal compensation if the source of the item can be identified.

If just a few individuals are harmed, each may be in a good position to pursue personal injury lawsuits. In such cases, a court may award victims of a dangerous product compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages and pain and suffering.

If these potentially dangerous airbags prove to cause injuries to a number of victims, an attorney experienced in products liability and class action lawsuits can help the plaintiffs to organize and pursue legal remedies against the same defendant. In such a case, any damages received would be shared by the group of plaintiffs.

Source: Roswell Patch, "BBB, Feds Warn of Fake Airbags Being Installed," Oct. 22, 2012

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