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Women brings lawsuit after defective airbag injures her

A woman injured when her airbag exploded during a traffic accident recently brought a lawsuit against Takata, the manufacturer or the airbag, and the maker of the car, Honda Motor Co. The 42-year old woman was injured when the airbag in her 2002 Honda Accord exploded following a low-speed collision. According to the lawsuit, upon impact from the accident, the ammonium nitrate in the airbag detonated which caused the inflator in the airbag to fragment and forced metal shrapnel through the airbag. The shrapnel struck the victim in her chest and arm which caused her to suffer severe lacerations. It was not clear if the woman's car had been recalled.

The woman is asserting in her lawsuit that the companies knew that the design of the airbag was defective. A representative for the woman noted that the airbags have an automobile design defect because they use ammonium nitrate as an airbag propellant. He added that ammonium nitrate is unstable and sensitive to moisture and temperature changes and that its susceptibility to detonation has been known for decades. He believes the airbags were defectively made. He also commented that he expects more deaths and injuries to be caused by the exploding ammonium nitrate inflators and has previously represented the family of a victim killed by one of the exploding airbags.

He alleges that Takata was aware of the airbag ruptures since 2002. There have been 11 confirmed deaths in the United States resulting from the defective airbags. In addition, there have been significant delays getting vehicles with recalled airbags repaired. Some automakers have been offering loaners or rental vehicles during the wait for parts to repair the defective airbags, while others are not. Because of the serious nature of an automobile design defect, there are several layers of protection available to help protect victims and their families.

It is important for victims of defective products, including defective automobiles, to be familiar with the legal options available to help protect and compensate them when they have been harmed. A variety of parties, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers and others, may be liable to victims so it is important they understand the protections available to them through the products liability legal process.

Source: Consumer Affairs, "Texas woman files lawsuit after her Takata airbag explodes," James R. Hood, Accessed Nov. 9, 2016

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