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North Carolina Drivers May Be at Risk from Dangerous Product

On behalf of Joel Rhine of Rhine Law Firm, P.C. posted April 14, 2016

Cars on the road today have a host of devices that keep drivers safe in the event of an accident. Though many manufacturers are putting out vehicles with high-tech safety mechanisms such as early warning crash alerts and even some elements that actually stop a car automatically in the event of an impending wreck, the mainstay of vehicle safety devices for years has been airbags. However, a potentially fatal airbag flaw has actually turned this ultimate safety device into a dangerous product for drivers in North Carolina and around the country who drive vehicles with Takata airbags.

The most recent story is of a teenager in Texas who died as a result of these airbags when she was involved in an otherwise small and low-speed crash. The victim was driving on a highway outside of Houston at 4:30 p.m. when her vehicle crashed into the car in front of her. The car had only minimal damage, but the airbag ruptured and impaled her neck with a metal fragment. She tragically passed away at the scene, which raises the number of deaths attributed to these airbags to 11.

There has been a safety recall from 14 automakers, involving approximately 24 million vehicles, to address this known safety problem. However, there are millions of cars with these defective airbags that have not been recalled. In this instance, it is unclear if a recall notice had gone out to the family who owned the car after their purchase from a used-car dealer, but many lawmakers want to require manufacturers to be more aggressive to fix defective products.

Families in North Carolina who are facing similar situations from a defective airbag or other dangerous product could benefit from contacting an attorney who focuses on product liability law. The lawyer can assist families in taking the necessary legal steps to seek compensation if such a tragic event occurs. This can assist families in paying for medical bills, loss of wages and other financial burdens brought about as a result of a dangerous product.

Source: The New York Times, “Teenage Driver Dies in Texas After Takata Airbag Ruptures in Crash“, Hiroko Tabuchi, April 6, 2016

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