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NHTSA Officials Questioned About Delay in Repairing Vehicles With Defective Takata Airbags

» Posted April 18, 2018Resources | Share This Post

Car buyers have a rough road to travel because it can often be difficult for them to ensure their vehicles are safe and to take action when problems arise. The California motor vehicle lemon law provides protection to some car buyers and there are also federal laws in place that address vehicle safety defects and require recalls when serious problems arise.

Unfortunately, consumers don't always get the protections they expect and have a right to deserve when it comes to problems with cars. As Forbes recently reported, for example, consumers are experiencing serious problems in connection with defective Takata airbags.

Not only have these airbags caused fatalities, but there has also been a major delay in parts becoming available to make fixes.  Just recently, federal safety officials were grilled about the delay in an effort to try to get answers for consumers.

Federal Officials Grilled About Delay in Fixing Defective Airbags

According to Forbes, the U.S. Senate held a hearing about defective recalled vehicles to try to get to the bottom of some of the big problems with the way that the Takata airbag recall had been handled. In the hearing, officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were subject to questioning.

Takata airbags have proven to be very dangerous because there is a defect in the airbags that causes them to explode and send metal shards flying through the car after an accident. The recalls are a part of the biggest safety recall that has occurred within the history of the United States. In total, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalled more than 42 million vehicles made between 2002 and 2015. These vehicles come from a total of 19 different automakers.

Unfortunately, vehicles with defective Takata airbags continue to be sold, even with the known defect that has led to fatalities. Not only that, but there is no law preventing car dealers from advertising that these vehicles have been subject to a rigorous inspection – even though consumers are not told about the recall when they purchase these “inspected cars.” 

Consumer groups have expressed concern about this issue, and the issue was to be addressed when NHTSA officials were questioned. Questions were also raised about why it is taking such a long time for parts to become available so vehicles with the defective air bags can actually be fixed. 

A global consumer advocate for safety attended the hearing in which the NHTSA officials were questioned and at the close of the hearing, Forbes reports that the advocate called on the Senate Committee to take action to fix the flawed recall system and to ensure that drivers who are still waiting for fixes to defective Takata airbags be provided with a solution that keeps them safe.

Unfortunately, it is likely that problems will still persist despite the hearing and drivers will continue to be at risk. Those consumers who have purchased vehicles that turn out to be defective should ensure they understand how consumer protection law, such as the California motor vehicle lemon law, can help them.


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