If you’re injured in a car accident caused by airbags that failed to deploy, you may have grounds to pursue a lawsuit against the manufacturers.
Here’s who you can sue in the event of airbag failure that leads to an accident.
1. Airbag Manufacturer
There are two kinds of airbag manufacturers:
- Original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
- Aftermarket manufacturer
If you have an airbag-related injury, you may be able to sue the OEM for failing to design or test their product correctly or for failing to warn consumers about possible dangers associated with its use. You may also be able to sue the aftermarket manufacturer if they were aware of the design flaws in a particular airbag and failed to notify consumers of those flaws.
2. Car Manufacturer
In the event of airbag failure, you can sue your car manufacturer.
If the deployed airbags in your car fail to deploy in a collision, it may be because they were defective. If that’s the case, and you were injured, as a result, you may have a valid legal claim against your vehicle manufacturer.
In most states, you can sue if your vehicle has been involved in an accident and its airbags failed to deploy. However, there are certain exceptions. For example, if the defect caused your injuries but wasn’t apparent at the time—like if it was hidden behind a panel or something similar—you might have less luck arguing that it was indeed defective.
3. An Auto Dealer
If you’re thinking about suing an auto dealer in the event of airbag failure, there are a few things to consider.
First and foremost, do your research. Know what kind of records the dealership keeps and how easily you can access them if you need them later. Make sure that you’re not just paying for an attorney—you’ll want someone highly skilled at finding evidence that may help prove your case.
Also, be aware that certain factors may decrease the likelihood of winning your case if you sue the dealer for airbag failure. For example, suppose you bought your car from a private seller rather than a dealership. In that case, it’s possible that they won’t have any paperwork documenting when they inspected or replaced your airbags (and thus had no reason to know they needed replacement). Additionally, suppose you didn’t have a warranty on the airbags. In that case, it could be difficult for a jury to determine whether or not they failed due to negligence on behalf of the dealer—even though it might seem negligent on their part.
4. Vehicle Repair Shop
If you are a victim of an airbag failure, you may be able to sue the vehicle repair shop that handled your car’s repair.
If your vehicle was repaired at a dealership or body shop, you might be able to sue them if they failed to check your car for airbag issues before repairing it properly.
In most cases, there is not just one party that you might consider suing for an airbag failure. The car manufacturer is always the best option, but you also have the option of suing the dealer, the mechanic from whom you acquired the car and several other parties. In cases where it is unclear whether or not a part on your vehicle was responsible for the airbag not functioning correctly, you can also sue the part manufacturer. There are many options to consider when someone suffers personal injuries resulting from a defective airbag.