For the second time in just a few years the car industry has been rocked by another massive recall related to airbags.
This time the airbags manufactured by Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. are at fault. The recall will affect more than 5 million vehicles worldwide, and around 2 million in the US. Honda, Fiat Chrysler Automotive, and Mercedes-Benz utilized the air bag units manufactured by Continental as well as three other manufactures who have yet to announce recalls.
Which Models Were Affected?
Thus far, the recall has been issued for the following car models:
- 2008-10 Honda Accord
- 2009 Dodge Journey
- 2008-09 Dodge Grand Caravan
- 2008-09 Chrysler Town and Country
- 2009 Volkswagen Routan
- 2008-09 Mercedes-Benz C Class
- 2008-09 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class
The car industry is still reeling from the recall issued in late 2014 for air bags made by Takata. The recall sparked a class action lawsuit against Takata due to the particularly egregious defect.
Although the current recall is not due to airbags exploding and spraying shrapnel in the face of drivers like Takata, it is still over a particularly dangerous issue. In this malfunction the performance of the safety systems is affected due to a malfunction in their power supply component caused by corrosion due to moisture.
This malfunction affects the air bags and seat belt pretensioners specifically. The seat belt pretensioners are what tighten the seatbelt in the event of an accident, keeping you secure. A malfunction with these will heighten the risk of a serious injury during an accident.
The issues with the airbags are that they may not deploy in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of occupant injury, or they might even deploy accidentally for no reason at all and cause a crash.
To date, there have been nine confirmed injuries as a result of the defect, with 74 more allegations that have yet to be confirmed. This number is expected to grow as more car manufacturers are notified that they too need to issue a recall.
According to documents released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, Continental knew about the defective air bags as far back as 2008. However, the situation was closely monitored and corrective measures were put in place to fix the defective airbags. Yet, problems cropped up again in early 2011, and Continental determined in August of the same year that they were due to the same mechanism they thought had been fixed.
By 2013 Daimler AG, the owner of Mercedes-Benz, was already beginning to recall vehicles to repair this problem. Yet, it wasn’t until recently that a major recall was issued, years after the initial problem was uncovered.
What If My Car Has Been Recalled?
The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of consumers who purchased vehicles that contained air bags manufactured by Continental Automotive Systems. We have extensive experience with automobile mass litigation, including lawsuits over Takata airbags, GM ignition switches, and Volkswagen emissions fraud. If you or someone you know owns one of the recalled models you may be able to seek compensation for a number of potential claims. Contact us today and tell us about your vehicle.