Products liability law is intended to provide protection to consumers which is a goal most businesses also share. Recalled airbags recently in the news have been blamed for at least 3 deaths and greater than 100 injuries; a fourth death has yet to be confirmed but may have also been caused by the airbags. The recall process has also triggered a review by the Department of Transportation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) handling of the recall. The recall was limited to areas of high humidity but some lawmakers have criticized the limit, noting the recall should be nationwide.
In noting that the airbags have killed people, lawmakers added that because of the danger disabled airbags also present, drivers should be provided with loaner vehicles at no cost while airbag repairs are made. Lawmakers are calling for a nationwide recall and for all potentially faulty airbags to be recalled. The NHSTA recently implored 4.7 million car owners that have received recall notices for the airbags over the past two years to have the airbag repairs performed. The number of vehicles subjects to the recall since 2013 was later changed to 7.8 million.
Products liability law holds manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers, among others, liable for defective product claims. Automobile defects, such as airbag defects, can have a significant impact on those parties who are part of the chain of distribution involved with an auto defect. Liability can be complex in product liability cases which is why it is important for those involved in a product liability claim to be familiar with ways to best protect themselves.
Products liability law may seem complex and unpredictable. While each circumstance is unique, solid knowledge and understanding of how product liability law applies to each situation are valuable for those facing defective product claims.