The last thing a person wants to worry about is being injured by a device that was meant to protect them. However, in January Ford and Mazda once again were given 30 days to recall the airbags which are currently installed in three million vehicles. This has been a long-standing issue despite the defective inflators causing harm to the vehicle’s passengers when ruptured.
Airbag recalls should not be taken lightly, and with good reason. The Takata airbag inflators, which are installed in numerous Ford and Mazda vehicles, are confirmed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to have killed almost 20 people in the United States, with over 250 additional people alleging injuries.
The recall process
According to the NHTSA, when a vehicle is recalled, it is the dealer’s responsibility to make the repairs for free. However, it is the owner’s responsibility to call the dealer to schedule the repair. Many dealers have a scheduling section on their websites to facilitate this process.
In some cases, driving the recalled vehicle before it is repaired is considered safe. However, Ford or Mazda owners are advised to check with their local dealer immediately to find out if it is in fact safe to drive their vehicle. In this case, it is recommended to only drive the vehicle to the dealer.
Where recalls fall short
Notably, the recall does not excuse any injuries or deaths caused by the airbags prior to or after this announcement. Those who were injured as a result of the Takata airbags may be able to obtain compensation by filing a personal injury/product liability lawsuit. Possible damages can cover lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, reasonable funeral expenses, and possibly more. Owning a vehicle comes with its own costs, but possible injury due to a mechanical error should not be one of them.