Recent Hyundai Recall Potential Danger for Children
Hyundai recently announced a recall of the company’s Azera model built between May 22, 2012 and November 23, 2012 due to a defect in the air bag detection system. This defect could cause the airbag to inflate improperly if the seat occupant is small, and could result in serious injury to children or smaller adults. Sensor Fabric Covering The Hyundai Azera’s air bag sensor is supposed to distinguish when the front passenger airbag should either be deactivated or activate more slowly when the person in the seat is smaller and lighter. In the Hyundai model, the fabric covering of the sensor within the seat prevents the system from accurately determining the size and weight of the passenger, which could result in the airbag inflating improperly, or inflating when it should not inflate at all. Children in Front Seat Most states have regulations regarding the age of children who may ride in the front seat of a vehicle, but those regulations sometimes do not mention the size of the child. Smaller statured children or adults have suffered serious injury, and even death, due to full-force inflation of airbags, and the seat sensors included in the Azera were designed to prevent those injuries from occurring. Hyundai reported five warranty claims regarding airbag warning lights that came on for no reason, which could indicate a problem with the sensor as well. At this time, no injuries have been reported, but Hyundai says they will not begin notifying customers until the third quarter of 2013. NHTSA Warning The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that airbags could seriously injure or kill a child, especially one who is not using a seatbelt, and even those who are seated in rear-facing car seats. Therefore, children of any age should ride in the backseat whenever possible and never ride in a vehicle without a seatbelt. If the child must ride in the front seat, be sure that the airbag is either turned off or sensors to reduce the velocity that the airbag inflates is working properly. When an auto defect is suspected as the cause or a contributing factor in a car accident that causes injury or death, a product liability claim may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an auto accident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by defective car components.