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Cars with airbag defects need immediate repairs, recall says

Many car owners in Illinois are proud of the vehicles they drive and take good care of them by having them serviced regularly. However, even the most conscientious of car owners may one day find that their vehicles are defective and are being recalled. In fact, federal safety regulators are urging individuals who own 2001 to 2003 Honda and Acura automobiles to replace their vehicle's airbags immediately. Over 300,000 vehicles are affected by the recall.

According to laboratory tests, the defective airbags, manufactured by the company Takata, have as much as a 50 percent chance of rupturing after being deployed in an accident. This causes metal components of the vehicle to rupture and go flying at the occupants of the vehicles. As many as 14 individuals were killed in such accidents and over 100 were injured. Summertime, with its high temperatures and humidity, is an especially dangerous time of year for these vehicles, as such weather conditions can break down a compound in the airbags, making them more likely to explode. As of right now in the United States, 14 automobile manufacturers have recalled over 60 million automobiles with the defective airbags.

Federal safety regulators urge individuals not to operate the affected automobiles. Instead they should go immediately to their area car dealership where they can have the airbags fixed at no cost. So far, 70 percent of these vehicles have been fixed after recalls that took place between 2008 to 2011. However, this still means that over 300,000 vehicles are still on the roads and in the hands of consumers.

It is imperative that these dangerous vehicles are repaired as soon as possible. However, sometimes a recall comes too late for a consumer who has already been injured by a defective product. When this happens, injured consumers may want to look into the possibility of pursuing a products liability lawsuit in order to seek compensation for the injuries they have suffered.

Source: The New York Times, "U.S. Warns Honda and Acura Owners to Replace Airbags," Hiroko Tabuchi, June 30, 2016

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