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Air bag recall may be expanded

New York car owners may be interested that Toyota recalled 247,000 vehicles with Takata airbags on Oct. 20. The airbags may explode sending metal shrapnel into the vehicle. The recalls in the U.S. started in June. Florida and Puerto Rico were the first regional areas involved.

Almost five million vehicles made by Toyota, Honda Motor Group, Fiat-Chrysler and others are affected with a potential for 25 million more. The problem, according to authorities, involves chemicals used to inflate the airbags. Two lawsuits have been filed recently. Both car accidents occurred in Florida, and the lawsuits allege injury to the drivers from shrapnel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains the problem to date has been seen in high humidity areas such as Florida. It may also affect individuals who winter in these areas.

Faulty airbags that may deploy in a car accident and may not have been sealed properly are being investigated by NHTSA. Investigators believe the problem may be related to the effect of moisture on the chemicals in the airbag. This results in excessive pressure that may lead to an explosion. There is a discrepancy over the number of individuals who have been injured or killed. The government is urging car owners to have the bags replaced. NHTSA is still investigating at the time of this report.

A manufacturer's defect may be linked to the design of a product or the manufacturing process. In addition, automakers, as in this case, may be liable if injury occurs due to the defect. An individual may suffer physical and financial difficulties due to the injury. In order to recover expenses, such as medical care and loss of income, an attorney may review the case and file a product liability suit to recover damages.

Source: Oregonlive, "Airbag recall list: Saturday updates for vehicle owners," Oct. 25, 2014

Source: Reuters, "More lawsuits filed against Honda, Takata over air bags", Ben Klayman, October 21, 2014

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