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Faulty Air Bags Cause Injuries

Honda recently recalled more than 400,000 automobiles for what the company describes as an air bag computer-chip glitch. Its popular Odyssey and Acura MDX models have been implicated in a number of injuries resulting from air bag deployment accidents. The electrical interference that causes the problem is being corrected with the installation of a small filter. Enough car owners have reported suffering burns and abrasions from the faulty air bags to warrant a universal recall on the cars.

Air bag safety benefits

The air bag has been saving lives for 30 years. According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), since the air bag became standard equipment in the 1990s, the safety device has saved an estimated 25,000 lives. Air bags significantly reduce the rate of fatalities in car accidents, even when seat belts were not used.

Air bag injuries and fatalities

Air bags work in two steps: The impact of an accident triggers the release of the bag from the steering column, dashboard or side panel of the car, and then a hot burst of nitrogen gas causes the air bag to inflate within seconds. The air bag inflates at a rate of nearly 200 mph, with a force explosive enough to inflate it in a blink. There have been a number of safety hazards associated with air bags, including:

  • Accidental deployment, causing burns and abrasions
  • Deployment causing the death of infant and child front-seat passengers
  • Hitting a driver or passenger in the face, causing burns

Auto manufacturers recommend taking certain precautions to increase the safety of air bag restraint systems. These steps include positioning the seat of the car as far from the steering wheel or dashboard as possible, slightly reclining the seat, placing infants and children in the back seat and of course, always engaging the seat belt.

Air bag systems have significantly increased the rate of car accident survival, but they are volatile and dangerous when not used correctly. If you have suffered burns, abrasions or fractures from a faulty air bag, contact a products liability lawyer. We can help you receive compensation for your injuries.