The danger of rebuilt air bags

On behalf of Rooz Law posted in Product Liability on Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

Individuals in Ontario might have heard that there may be danger in rebuilt air bags installed in vehicles. They may cause injuries to the head and upper body. National Sacs Gonflables Inc. is the company responsible for the rebuilt air bags, and they may be in any car that has had its air bag replaced since 1998. Vehicle diagnostic systems that would normally indicate a problem with the air bag cannot identify this particular defect. Only a qualified repair shop can determine whether a car’s air bag is rebuilt.

While the rebuilder was supposed to pay for the costs of air bag replacement, it filed for bankruptcy in 2001. Air bag replacement can cost around $1,000 or more. Individuals also have the option to have the air bag deactivated. The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec recommends deactivation and replacement, but Transport Canada can provide a packet regarding the possibility of leaving the air bag permanently deactivated.

There may be product liability issues with the air bag. An individual who is injured in such circumstances may sometimes file a lawsuit against the company responsible. However, in this case, because the manufacturer is bankrupt, the case may be more complex. Individuals who are injured by air bags may wish to consult a lawyer about what steps they might be able to take.

For example, an individual might have a used car and not know that the car was involved in an accident several years earlier and that the air bag was replaced. The individual might then be injured when an air bag deploys improperly. A lawyer might be able to suggest the best course of action if it is not possible to get a settlement from the air bag manufacturer.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Transportation, “Air Bags”, November 17, 2014

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