Federal Agency to Investigate Jeep on Airbag Issue
Amid nearly daily stories in the news about faulty airbags, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will probe Jeep over problems with its airbags, as well. This new investigation comes on the heels of Takata Corp. recalling millions of vehicles to have their airbags fixed because they can malfunction in an accident and send metal shards into the faces of passengers. With so many recalls and apparent malfunctions, the average Florida consumer may be left wondering what is going on with the auto industry and airbags.
The federal agency is opening the probe because of a perceived failure to follow regulations by Jeep’s parent company. Some of the issues include a failure to quickly notify owners of cars about safety recalls, fix recalled cars fast enough, and others. The fines and penalties for all of these failures could reach $700 million.
Current Probe Over Faulty Airbag Lights
In addition to the scrutiny over past safety issues, NHTSA will investigate complaints about how Jeep’s airbags work. According to numerous complaints, vehicle airbag lights light up indicating an electrical problem that could cause the airbag to fail. If the agency finds that the vehicle’s equipment is faulty, they could issue additional recalls for the affected models.
The NHTSA is authorized by several federal laws to issue and enforce regulations dealing with safety problems in vehicles. These safety laws are updated nearly annually by congress as cars and standards continue to change. And the laws congress has passed have teeth. The NHTSA can issue fines, order recalls, and even shut down companies if they pose a significant enough risk to consumer and travel safety.
Florida’s Law to Protect Drivers
In addition to the rules and regulations that are passed by congress and issued by the NHTSA, Florida has laws that protect drivers. Florida’s personal injury and product liability laws are just two examples of how drivers are protected. Both laws have the aim of making a victim whole and compensating them for injuries. In a situation involving a faulty airbag, someone injured would likely have a case under Florida’s product liability laws.
Product liability follows the theory of strict liability. This means that the person bringing the complaint does not have to prove negligence, just that the product was faulty. And a product liability case can be brought (in the case of a faulty airbag) against the car company that sold the car, the manufacturer, and the company that produced the airbag. This shifts the burden of ensuring that the public uses safe products onto the the companies involved in offering them.
What to Do if Injured by a Faulty Product
If you are ever injured by a faulty product in the Miami area, be it in a car or elsewhere, contact us. At Alan Goldfarb, P.A., we are dedicated to fighting on behalf of people injured in accidents or by faulty products. We will evaluate your case and give you your legal options. Our practice is dedicated to doing everything we can to win for our clients.