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Five million vehicles to be recalled for another airbag defect

Posted on Monday, February 8th, 2016   

Honda and Fiat Chrysler have issued a worldwide recall of five million vehicles to fix a defective airbag component that the automakers have known about for years. This defective component—a semiconductor that can become susceptible to corrosion—causes the airbag to do one of two things: deploy at random times, or not deploy at all when it is needed.

The defect was discovered in January of 2008 by Continental Automotive Systems, the German company that manufacturers the components that actually control the airbags in these vehicles, who then informed automakers of the defect, according to Mary Arraf, a Continental spokesperson. Arraf went on to claim that it was up to automakers to issue a recall at that point.

The fact that it has taken eight years for anything to be done about the defect is concerning, not to mention probably illegal; federal law in the United States mandates that manufacturers must inform regulators of its plans to issue a recall within five business days of becoming aware of a safety problem. Arraf indicated that “‘potentially less than two million’” vehicles may be affected in the United States.

At present, only Honda and Fiat Chrysler have initiated recalls, though a number of other car makers may eventually need to follow suit, including Mazda and Volvo. A Mazda spokesperson said that the company was still investigating. At Pohl & Berk, LLP, our firm will continue to monitor this evolving story.

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