A teenager in Texas was involved in an accident this April which witnesses have described as a "minor" crash. ABC News reports investigators and witnesses believe the young teen should have been able to walk away from the accident relatively unharmed because the collision was not a serious one. Unfortunately, the car the young woman was in at the time of her accident had a Takata Airbag. The airbag sent shards of metal into her neck, severing arteries and causing her death within seconds.
When airbags or other vehicle parts malfunction, the consequences can be devastating. Victims will need to determine who is liable for crash losses. Sometimes, a victim may pursue a claim against both other motorists who cause the crash as well as car manufacturers if defects in the vehicle cause the accident injuries to be worse.
In this particular case, it seems clear the airbag was the major cause of death. The young Texas teen has become the 10th person to die as a result of the faulty airbags. More than 100 people have also sustained injuries as a result of the airbags.
Dangerous Airbag Causes Death in Texas
The accident happened when the 17-year-old teen rear-ended another vehicle. The cars were on FM 762 and Gonyo near Richmond. The collision was described as a fender bender. She got out of her car after the collision, but she collapsed and died even though the crash was one she should have walked away from. Witnesses indicate she had a deep laceration on the side of her throat which looked as though it was debris from the airbag.
An official inspection revealed the Honda civil she was driving in did have a Takata airbag, and the inflator of the airbag ruptured and become like a missile. The airbag is among the 24 million which have been recalled within the United States. A recall notice was reportedly send to the registered owner of the Honda the teenager was driving, but no repairs were ever made. The sister of the victim said the family was not aware a recall had been instituted for the car the victim was driving.
Takata released a statement indicating it was "deeply sorry for all fatalities and injuries that have occurred in any case where a Takata airbag inflator has failed to deploy as intended." Takata is working in conjunction with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to try to get the word out about the recall.
Unfortunately, far too many motorists are not aware of recalls or problems with their vehicles until it is too late. Motorists should regularly check NHTSA's website for information about recalls and should consult with their car dealer immediately if they discover there is an active recall on their vehicle.