On the heels of a massive series of recalls over defective Takata airbags,
automakers Fiat Chrysler and Honda are set to recall five million more
vehicles to remedy another airbag defect that has gone unaddressed for
years. According to a filing with federal safety regulators that just
recently went public, Continental Automotive Systems, the German supplier
that manufactures airbag components, has said that it has been aware of
a defect in some units since the beginning of 2008. Semiconductors within
the unit are susceptible to corrosion, which can lead the airbag to deploy
inadvertently or not to deploy at all. At least nine injuries have been
linked to the defect.
Continental informed automakers of the problem, and it was left up to automakers
to issue recalls based on the warning. The supplier then remedied the
problem within a matter of a few months.
Federal law mandates that once a manufacturer is made aware of a safety
issue, they have five business days to inform federal regulators of their
plans for a recall or face civil penalties. The manufacturers’ mishandling
of this safety issue follows a pattern within the auto industry of significant
delays in disclosing and remedying safety defects. According to a Potomac
independent auto safety expert, the pattern seems to be to “conceal,
delay, deny.” Instead of addressing this issue years ago when the
problem was first discovered, automakers now have to recall millions of vehicles.
So far, 14 car manufacturers have had to recall an estimated 24 million
vehicles to address airbag defects, with several millions more possibly
defective airbag systems still on the road.
Recalls will be announced for the following vehicles:
- 2008-2009 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan
- 2008-2009 Chrysler Town & Country minivan
- 2009 Dodge Journey
- 2009 Volkswagen Routan
- 2009-2010 Honda Accord
Mazda and Volvo are also expected to announce recalls over Continental-made
If you or someone you know has been hurt in a car accident, a vehicle defect
may have been to blame. Contact a New York product liability attorney
at The Russell Friedman Law Group, LLP to discuss your options for legal recourse.
Yet Another Airbag Recall Will Affect Five Million