Kia Defective Airbags

Kia Defective Airbag Lawsuit

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Kia Defective Airbags

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is demanding that ARC Automotive, Inc. issue a recall for roughly 67 million potentially defective airbag inflators installed in certain Kia vehicles nationwide. According to their report, certain frontal and passenger airbag inflators manufactured by ARC and Delphi through January 2018 contain a defect that will cause the airbag to over-inflate and rupture, ejecting metal debris at high speed at the vehicle’s driver and passenger. If you own a Kia vehicle that has been affected by the defective ARC and Delphi airbag inflators, you may be eligible for financial compensation. For more information, contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney today.

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  • 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.

  • Is This the Same As the Takata Recall?

    The Takata airbags, created by the now-bankrupt Japanese company known as the Takata Corporation, were installed in vehicles from 2002 through 2015. Since 2009, there have been roughly 30 deaths, 24 of which were in the U.S., and more than 400 injuries worldwide in various automakers' vehicles, all of which were connected to the Takata airbags. 

    This prompted an investigation by the NHTSA, which discovered that the 70 million vehicles fitted with Takata airbag inflators were a safety risk for drivers and their passengers. The agency then determined that the vehicles with the airbags installed should be recalled. Since then, the Takata airbags recall has affected vehicles in more than 40 countries and has become one of the largest and most expensive recalls in history.

    The most recent request for recall from the NHTSA involving ARC Automotive, while similar in the risk of the airbag inflators rupturing, is caused by a different defect discovered in an investigation by the agency after reports of consumers sustaining severe injuries to their head and legs, in addition to at least one death that was linked to a ruptured airbag.

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

    According to the NHTSA, the root cause of the exploding 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. When loading the compound into the metal cartridge, Takata did not include a chemical drying agent. 

    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 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 investigation claims during the welding process, a blockage of metal debris can occur within the airbag inflator. When the airbag deploys, the blockage can cause excessive pressure in the inflator, leading the airbag to over-inflate and rupture, ejecting metal debris at high speed at the vehicle’s driver and passenger. Roughly seven people have been injured by the rupturing airbag inflators, and there has been one reported death in the United States.

  • 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 Kia 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. Drivers who are concerned should take prompt action to ensure their vehicle’s airbags are safe and contact their local Kia dealer.

  • Which Kia Vehicles Are Affected by the Recalls?

    Kia vehicle owners can enter their car's vehicle identification number (VIN) into Kia's recall search engine or contact their local Kia dealership to learn if the recent recalls have impacted their vehicle. Your vehicle VIN can be located on the lower left of your car's windshield, on your car's registration card, or, in some cases, it may be shown on your insurance card.

  • What Injuries Can Defective Airbags Cause?

    Aggressive airbag deployments, ruptures, and explosions may cause drivers and their passengers to suffer from the following injuries:

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

    If you or a loved one have suffered an injury, we may be able to help you recover financial compensation. Victims may be eligible to recover compensation in the form of medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. For more information on what you may be eligible to recover, contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney to have one of our attorneys review your case.

  • Can I File a Defective Airbag Lawsuit?

    If you have suffered an injury or have lost a loved one due to a defective airbag, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For more information on how a Morgan & Morgan attorney can help your case, or if you have questions regarding the recent airbags recall, contact our law firm today by completing our free, no-obligation case evaluation form.

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