Officials: eight deaths caused by defective airbags

When you rent a car from a car rental agency, you have a reasonable expectation that they maintaining the cars with the highest level of safety in mind. This can include getting necessary work done to the engine, installing new tires and responding to recalls for manufacturing defects. Of course, not all rental car companies are as responsible as others and that negligence can sometimes lead to injuries and even death.

That was the case last September when a person was killed by a faulty air bag inflator in a rental car. The death was the eighth such incident related to Tanaka airbags, one of the world’s largest manufacturers. Tanaka has been aware of the issue for some time and issued recalls in the past when it was discovered that the airbags launched projectile shrapnel into the driver’s body and face when it expanded. To date, they have recalled 34 million airbags. That means that roughly out of every seven cars on the road, one has a defective air bag inside.

Investigations may reveal even more injuries and deaths related to the faulty airbags, but to the families of those affected, the knowledge will come too late. They may be asking, “Why wasn’t this taken care of sooner?” and, in this particular case, “Why did the rental car company fail to get the recalled airbags replaced prior to renting the car out?”

Victims of defective products like these should know that they have rights. An attorney may be able to help them fight for compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of wages and pain and suffering.

Source: cbs4indy.com, “Takata airbags at center of major recall linked to 8th death,” June 22, 2015

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