Defective General Motors Airbag

General Motors Airbag Lawsuit

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General Motors Airbag Lawsuit

The NHTSA is calling for the recall of certain frontal and passenger airbag inflators manufactured by ARC and Delphi through January 2018 that contain a defect related to motor vehicle safety. The reports state that millions of vehicles on the road, including certain model years of General Motors, LLC (GM) vehicles, may be impacted by the defective ARC and Delphi airbag inflators. For more information on the ARC airbag inflator recall or if you believe you are in possession of one of the affected GM vehicles and have suffered an injury, contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney today. 

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  • GM Recalls Nearly 1 Million Vehicles Due to ARC Airbag Inflators

    On March 23, 2023, General Motors announced a recall of nearly 1 million sport utility vehicles in the U.S. after reports of a driver of a 2017 Chevrolet Traverse was involved in a crash in which the front-driver airbag inflator ruptured during deployment, causing facial injuries. The recall affects roughly 994,763 vehicles from the 2014 through 2017 model years with modules produced by ARC Automotive, including the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia. 

  • What Is the Cause of the ARC Airbag Inflator Defect?

    Based on an investigation conducted by the NHTSA, it believes that ruptures may result from the weld slag produced by the friction welding manufacturing process. The report states, “Should weld slag of a sufficient size become dislodged, it can cause a blockage of the inflator exit orifice when the airbag deploys. A blockage of sufficient size will cause over pressurization and rupture of the inflator, leading to the potential forced propulsion of shrapnel or metal fragments from the inflator into the passenger compartment.”

    Roughly seven people have been injured by the rupturing air bag inflators, and there has been one reported death in the United States.

  • Is This the Same Issue As the Takata Airbags?

    While both the ARC and Takata issues involve airbag inflators, both recalls stem from different issues. Created by the now-bankrupt Japanese company known as the Takata Corporation, the Takata airbag inflators were installed in vehicles from 2002 through 2015. An investigation by the NHTSA deemed that the millions of vehicles fitted with Takata airbag inflators were a safety risk for drivers and their passengers and should be recalled. 

    The root cause of the exploding Takata airbags comes from the design and the chemical compound the company used to inflate the airbags. The airbag design had a metal cartridge loaded with ammonium-nitrate-based propellant, a "cost-efficient" fertilizer and highly flammable chemical typically found in bombs. Takata did not include a chemical drying agent when loading the compound into the metal cartridge. 

    Without the drying agent, things like environmental changes, high temperatures, the aging of the airbag, or an accident could cause the inflator's housing to rupture. This rupture can propel metal shards from the airbag throughout the passenger cabin, leaving those in the vehicle with severe injuries or, in some cases, can lead to death.

  • What Is an Airbag Inflator?

    Since the 1999 model year, the federal government has required automakers to install driver and passenger airbags for frontal impact protection in all vehicles. In order for an airbag to deploy, it requires an inflator. The inflator is installed inside an airbag to produce a quantity of gas with a certain composition, temperature, and controlled rate. In the case of an accident or certain injury scenarios, the inflator will fill the airbag system to sufficiently cushion an automobile occupant.

  • Should I Disable My Vehicle’s Airbags?

    No. While the ARC airbag inflators do pose a risk to drivers' safety, disabling your airbags could put you at further risk of severe injuries in accidents. If you are concerned about the safety of your vehicle's airbags, we highly urge you to contact your GM car dealership to learn more about what your best options are. According to the NHTSA, drivers will have no warning signs if the airbag is defective. Therefore, if you are concerned, take prompt action and ensure your vehicle’s airbags are safe.

  • Which GM Vehicles Are Affected by the ARC Recall?

    The following is a list of GM vehicles that have been affected by the ARC airbag inflators. GM vehicle owners who do not see their vehicle on this list can enter their vehicle identification number (VIN) into the NHTSA’s search engine to see if their vehicle is affected by the recalls. 

    • 2014-2017 Buick Enclave
    • 2014-2017 Chevrolet Traverse
    •  2014-2017 GMC Acadia

    If you believe you own one or more of the listed vehicles and have suffered an injury, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For more information about the defective airbag inflator recalls, contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney today.

  • Which Airbags in My GM Vehicle Are Affected by the Recall?

    Depending on the type of vehicle you own, the placement of the defective airbags may vary. To learn more information, owners may enter their car's vehicle identification number into the NHTSA recall search engine. It will provide you with information on whether the driver-side, passenger-side, or both frontal airbags in their vehicle are included in the recall. Customers are also urged to contact their local GM dealer for more information on the affected vehicles. 

  • What Injuries Can Defective Airbags Cause?

    Airbags are safety features in vehicles created with the purpose of aiding in our protection during an accident. However, when airbags with defects are installed into vehicles, they can not only fail to protect us during an accident but cause even more harm to the driver or passengers. The most common injuries drivers and their passengers have experienced due to a defective airbag include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Black eyes
    • Brain injury or concussion
    • Broken bones
    • Burns
    • Compound fractures
    • Death
    • Facial or cranial fractures
    • Hearing loss
    • Neck Injury
    • Permanent scarring
    • Rib, sternum and/or clavicle fractures
    • Serious cuts or avulsions
    • Spinal fractures
    • Vision damage 
    • Vocal damage

    If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or have lost their life due to a defective airbag, our attorneys may be able to help. Learn more today by completing our free case evaluation form.

  • What Forms of Compensation Are Victims Eligible To Recover?

    If you have suffered an injury or have lost a loved one due to a defective airbag, you may be eligible to recover one or more of the following forms of financial compensation:

    • Medical expenses
    • Loss of wages
    • Loss of consortium
    • Pain and suffering
    • Permanent disability
    • Emotional distress
    • and more. 

    GM customers should keep in mind that every case will vary on what they may be eligible to recover depending on the level of damage sustained due to the defective airbags. For more information on what you may be eligible to recover, victims can contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney by completing our case evaluation form.

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