Do Car Airbags Cause Injuries? | Scott Goodwin Law

Do Car Airbags Cause Injuries?

by / Wednesday, 22 May 2024 / Published in Defective Products, Motor Vehicle Accidents
Deployed airbags in a car dashboard.

Airbags have been a standard safety feature on new cars since the late 1990s and have been a common feature in cars for an even longer amount of time. According to the NHTSA, frontal airbags saved 50,457 lives between 1987 and 2017. However, for as long as airbags have been around, there have been concerns that they can cause rather than prevent injuries in the event of a car accident. The good news is that airbags have evolved since they were first becoming available in cars, and the data shows that airbags (both frontal and side airbags), when combined with seatbelts, are a very effective way at preventing injury and death in car accidents. 

Even though the numbers strongly support the effectiveness of airbags as a safety measure, it is still possible for some injuries to occur. There are even some very limited instances where the NHTSA recommends disabling frontal airbags because the risks can outweigh the benefits, such as if a rear-facing child seat needs to be put in the front of the vehicle or if a person is unable to sit a safe distance from the airbag because they have a very short stature or have a medical condition. 

When airbag injuries do occur, they can involve things like facial injuries, neck and spine injuries, and burn injuries. However, airbag injuries very often end up being the result of a defective product issue. In the event of a car accident, it’s very important that the airbags deploy very quickly at just the right time. However, defective airbags can potentially deploy with too much force, deploy too late, or not deploy at all. In some cases, defective airbags have been known to deploy when the vehicle hasn’t even been involved in a crash. 

One very notable example of a defective airbag causing injuries is the Takata airbag recall. This recall first came to public attention in 2014 and eventually grew to affect over 67 million airbags in vehicles made by 34 different brands. The issue with the Takata airbags is that the airbag inflators were prone to causing airbags to deploy with an explosive force. Since the inflator cartridges are made of metal, this strong force could cause shrapnel to go flying into the cabin of the vehicle. As of May 2024, these airbags have been linked to 27 deaths and over 400 injuries. 

Contact a Michigan Defective Product Lawyer

Defective product cases can be very complex and it’s important to contact a defective product injury lawyer for help as soon as possible. At Scott Goodwin Law, we’re experienced in handling both defective product and car accident injury cases in the State of Michigan. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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