Today's cars are often touted as being the safest ever built. For decades now, the federal government has passed laws requiring car manufacturers to include safety features such as seat belts, airbags, stabilizing gear and rear and side-impact safety components. These safety features are meant to keep drivers and passengers safe in the event a motor vehicle is involved in a car accident. What happens, however, if the very safety feature meant to protect a driver or passenger malfunctions?
A woman recently filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. after she asserts the airbags in her Volkswagen Jetta deployed for no reason. In the product liability lawsuit, the woman states she was driving her Jetta when the driver’s side front door and rear airbags spontaneously deployed. Thankfully, the woman was able to pull her vehicle safely over to the side of the road without incident or injury.
Upon pulling her vehicle over, the woman immediately called the car manufacturer who directed her to have the vehicle towed to the nearest Volkswagen dealership. After examining the vehicle, an employee at the dealership informed the woman her car suffered damage to its undercarriage which the employee attributed to hitting a pothole. The employee reasoned, therefore, that the airbags correctly deployed after hitting the pothole. Skeptical, the woman requested further inspection by a diagnostic expert who subsequently agreed with the Volkswagen employee's opinion.
Not convinced, the woman filed a lawsuit in which she accuses Volkswagen of product liability. In the lawsuit, the woman asserts that several of the defendant's vehicles have known airbag defects which the defendant failed to disclose to the plaintiff. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff accuses the defendant of failing to notify her of a recall related to the defective airbags as well as negligence in manufacturing and selling vehicles which contain the defective parts.
Thankfully, in this case, the woman's front driver airbag did not deploy and she was not injured or involved in any accident. This fact, however, does not absolve the defendant of responsibility for the defective auto part. Individuals who have been adversely impacted due to a defective auto part that affected a car's acceleration, braking, steering or airbags components would be wise to consult with an attorney.
Source: The Louisiana Record, "Jetta owner files product liability lawsuit after airbags allegedly malfunction and deploy," Kyle Barnett, April 28, 2014