Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Haselton Comments on Recent air bag Recalls and the Potential Danger of Manufacturer Defects

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Haselton says that recent automotive recalls should serve as a reminder to corporations: safety must always come first.

Air bags are supposed to keep vehicle occupants safe. Instead, in too many cases, they may be creating a hazard.

Nissan is one of the latest automotive companies to issue a massive recall. This recall is related to potential problems with air bags. While Nissan is the latest, they are certainly not alone in issuing a recall. David Undercoffler, of the Los Angeles Times, writes in his July 29, 2014 article ("Nissan expands recall of vehicles with faulty air bags") that the company has recalled nearly 665, 000 Nissan and Infiniti vehicles to fix allegedly defective air bag inflators. According to the report, the Takata-built air bag inflators are allegedly "linked to the recall of more than 3 million vehicles by Honda, Subaru, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Mitsubishi and Mazda."

Honda recently announced a recall related to the potential air bag problem. In a statement issued on June 23, 2014 and revised on July 3, 2014, Honda states that it is voluntarily recalling certain vehicles for air bag related problems: "It is possible that front airbag inflators in affected vehicles may deploy with too much pressure, which may cause the inflator casing to rupture and could result in injury. Honda is aware of one claimed injury involving a driver’s front airbag."

Joseph Haselton, of Haselton & Haselton, is a personal injury attorney who represents injury victims in car accident litigation and has been monitoring these air bag cases very closely. "These recalls are just a reminder of the many dangers that drivers face. In addition to road hazards, other drivers who are negligent and a variety of other challenges on the road, drivers must also be aware of the dangers within their cars," Haselton says. "Air bags are supposed to keep vehicle occupants safe. Instead, in too many cases, they may be creating a hazard."

While vehicle manufacturers often do take action after injuries occur, "they need to do a better job preventing catastrophes from happening in the first place," Haselton asserts. "Personal injury attorneys like me can hold liable parties accountable, but our hope is that more effort and money will be spent on research, development, testing, accountability and oversight so that these 'accidents' are prevented completely."

"Manufacturer defect cases are extremely complex because they may involve multiple liable parties. In cases involving alleged automotive defects, the auto company, the air bag manufacturer, distributors, component manufacturers, installers, and others who may be involved with the testing and certification of parts may all be partially liable. A law firm with extensive resources to investigate these kinds of cases is vital," Haselton says, adding "the corporate legal defense will be formidable, the evidence may be damaged, the details may be complex. These are just some of the intricacies involved in these cases. At Hasleton & Haselton, we represent injury victims after tragedy has occurred but, by speaking out on the many recent automotive recalls, we want to send a message to manufacturers. You must be proactive rather than simply reactive when it comes to public safety."        

While Haselton concedes that automotive manufacturers and parts manufacturers do spend considerable amounts of money on safety, "if they, or any corporation, tries to profit at the expense of safety, they must be held accountable until they do the right thing. They should also be monitored extremely closely by safety advocates, regulators and industry watchdogs. While details in the recent cases are still emerging and Nissan, Honda, Takata and others may be doing the right thing, these cases should work as reminders for all concerned citizens. We must all hold corporations accountable when it comes to product safety."

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Joseph Haselton
since: 02/2013
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Haselton & Haselton, Attorneys at Law
since: 04/2013
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