Remember the horrific story of exploding Takata airbags? It’s still ongoing.
Carmakers began recalling vehicles with defective Takata airbags in them all the way back in 2013. They cited defects that manufacturers and safety experts said could cause the airbags to inappropriately deploy and burst, sending shards of metal, glass and other material into the car without warning. The malfunction was blamed for a number of fatalities in the United States. That includes a driver in Georgia who was killed when the airbag in his Ford Ranger deployed and exploded as he was driving the car on a South Carolina highway.
Some 37 million vehicles with Takata airbags have since been recalled. The company has also paid $1 billion to settle Justice Department claims that it failed to warn consumers of the problem. Then Takata filed for bankruptcy and was sold.
Six years after the initial recalls, new safety hazards from existing Takata airbags are rearing their heads. Honda in March said it was recalling another 1.1 million vehicles over concerns airbags could explode if they’re deployed during a crash. Those airbags were already recalled, but the company said they’re still defective.
“Due to a manufacturing error, in the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver frontal air bag, these inflators may explode,” Honda said in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “An explosion of an inflator within the driver frontal air bag module may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver, front seat passenger or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.”
How the California Lemon Law Protects Consumers
The Takata recall may be the world’s largest, but it isn’t by far the only example of carmakers having to call back their vehicles to repair defects. It is unfortunately common that automobile manufacturers become aware of problems with their vehicles long after the cars have left the assembly line. Defects like the exploding airbag may long go undetected and manufacturers may have trouble properly repairing the problems once they become clear.
That’s where the California lemon law comes in. California's Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act protects a wide range of consumers, including car buyers and lessors. The law generally requires car manufacturers to make certain repairs to vehicles while they’re under warranty. If efforts to repair the car aren’t successful, the manufacturer is required under the law to replace the vehicle or reimburse the owner or lessor for the purchase price and related expenses.
The law also makes the manufacturer responsible for paying legal fees that you incur as part of enforcing your rights.
Speak With a California Lemon Law Attorney
The California Lemon Law attorneys at the Bickel Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state. Our offices are conveniently located in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.