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Residents of New Jersey and the Greater Philadelphia area who are in the market for a new car may want to be aware that some automakers are selling brand-new vehicles equipped with airbags that are known to have a potentially deadly defect. According to the author of a congressional report from June 2016, these vehicles must be recalled by the end of 2018. Despite this, dealers are not required to inform consumers that the vehicle will later be recalled.
At least 10 people have been killed and 100 more have been injured from defective Takata air bags, which can send shrapnel flying into passenger compartments. However, comments made by the senior editor of Kelley Blue Book indicate that the equipment is not believed to pose a threat of immediate danger within the first few years after production. As of the date of this writing, the airbag failures have been attributed to humidity, heat exposure, and age.
Regardless, congressional leaders are calling on automakers to inform the public as to which vehicles are making their way to dealer showrooms with the defective part. The only five defective models named in the congressional report are the 2016 Audi TT, 2017 Audi R8, 2016 Volkswagen CC, 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and 2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Reports indicate that Mitsubishi, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, and Toyota are continuing to equip new vehicles with the defective Takata air bag.
The planned recall of a product with a known defect may not absolve parties involved in the manufacture, distribution, or sale of that product from liability. Victims of airbag-related injuries may find it beneficial to contact a personal injury attorney, who may be able to help them pursue financial compensation from all responsible parties.
Source: Committee on Commerce, Science and transportation, “The Takata Recalls: Consumers Are Still Stuck in Neutral,” Bill Nelson, June 1, 2016