Defective Airbag Lawyer

Since their introduction, automobile airbags have saved lives and reduced injuries in collisions. Unfortunately, manufacturing defects in these devices have also led to numerous deaths and injuries. Looking at cases of defective airbags provides insights into product liability law and may help you cope if your vehicle’s airbag system fails.

A Lifesaving Technology

In 1998, federal law required airbags for every new automobile sold in the United States. Airbags were a way to reduce injuries in frontal collisions. Without these devices, the laws of physics force the heads of front-seat occupants into the steering wheel or dashboard. Facial lacerations and traumatic brain injuries were typical results of this motion. Fractions of a second later, many front-seat occupants found their upper torso and heads flung backward — triggering the classic whiplash injury.

Front-mounted airbags — on the steering wheel for the driver and the dashboard for the front passenger — helped mitigate both types of injuries. Modern airbags deploy when their sensors detect a collision exceeding 10 miles per hour. Full deployment happens within 1/25th of a second, far quicker than an eyeblink. Perforations in the bags allow for slow deflation. This deflation in turn creates an energy-absorbing cushion for passengers.

Following the success of front-mounted airbags, manufacturers added side-mounted units to protect passengers’ torsos and feet. The dawn of the 21st century brought a substantial leap forward with side curtain airbags. These bags deploy downward from a vehicle’s roof, filling the space between passengers’ heads and side windows. Curtain airbags markedly reduce the severity of injuries from T-bone collisions.

Worldwide, airbags have saved thousands of lives and headed off even more injuries. While simple in principle, airbags are highly complex devices with many parts. Beginning in 2009, this complexity led to tragedy. Read on to learn more about the tragic impact of defective airbags.