Drivers in New Jersey may be aware of the ongoing Takata airbag recall. Defective airbag inflators made by Takata Corp. can explode upon impact, sending metal shards into the occupants and seriously injuring or killing them. To date, these have led to over a dozen deaths and hundreds of injuries. It is now believed that certain older pickups made by Ford Motor Co. carry these defective products.
Back in January, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warned that the 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series pickups may be at risk and should not be driven. NHTSA has released an additional warning this May, mainly due to the currently slow rate of replacement. Approximately 33,320 Rangers and 2,205 Mazda pickups are considered dangerous, but only 49 percent and 55 percent of the respective vehicles have had the issue repaired so far.
Ford, for its part, also notified customers back in January. The dealers for both vehicles are offering free towing to fix the defects. This recall represents only a fraction of the issue: More than 60 million Takata airbags are being recalled in the U.S. alone.
Those who are injured by defective car parts may be eligible for compensation under product liability law. Lawyers who focus on personal injury cases might bring in investigators and other experts to show how the other party is guilty of negligence. There are three kinds of defects: design, manufacturing and marketing.
Lawyers will need to first find out if victims contributed to their own injuries. Contributory negligence may lower the potential settlement for an injury claim and make a wrongful death suit void. Clients may have their lawyer handle all negotiations and proceed to litigation if negotiations fall through.