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Alabama Airbag Recall

Alabama Airbag Recall

Alabama Airbag Recall

Officials are reporting that over 200,000 Alabama residents are driving with defective airbags. Approximately 700,000 airbags were originally identified as defective in Alabama. As of August 2019, roughly 35% of these airbags remain unrepaired.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 41.6 million vehicles are equipped with defective Takata airbags. The airbags are under recall due to the fact they can explode during deployments, causing serious injury and death. 

The NHTSA strongly urges all vehicle owners to:

  • Check for Recalls using your vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Get the Fix by calling your local dealer; it will be repaired for free.
  • Sign Up for Recall Alerts about any future recall affecting your vehicle

Why this recall is particularly important for Alabama residents

Over time, exposure to high heat and humidity increases the risk and potential of a serious injury, or even death during an airbag deployment. The NHTSA considers Alabama to be a “Zone A” region – the most dangerous and time sensitive designation. 

Alabama residents should also be aware, certain 2001-2003 Honda & Acura vehicles, as well as 2006 Ford Rangers and Mazda B-series trucks are at a far higher risk of a life threatening airbag explosion.

The vehicles below are on the NHTSA’s “Do not drive list” and should be repaired immediately.

 

2001-2002 Honda Civic

2001-2002 Honda Accord

2002-2003 Acura TL

2002 Honda CR-V

2002 Honda Odyssey

2003 Acura CL

2003 Honda Pilot

Certain 2006 Ford Ranger (Ford advises do not drive)

Certain 2006 Mazda B-Series (Mazda advises do not drive) 

New test data on the defective Takata airbag inflators in these vehicles show a far higher risk of ruptures during air bag deployment than for other recalled Takata air bags.

If you have identified your vehicle to have a defective air bag, it is imperative you have the repair done as soon as possible. Recall repairs are 100% free and parts for high risk vehicles are in good supply in Alabama Dealerships. Many are offering free towing and even a loaner vehicle to assist affected owners.

Vehicle manufacturers are making several outreach efforts to alert and help Alabama vehicle owners schedule their free recall repairs. Examples of these efforts include: 

  • In September, the National Safety Council and several manufacturers hosted the Airbag Recall Repair Month in Alabama. Participating dealerships are standing by ready to repair your vehicle for free. Several Dealerships are extending their hours and offering alternative transportation.
  • General Motors is working to ensure that the 3,300 unrepaired owners residing in Alabama are made aware that their vehicle has an open urgent airbag safety recall. GM continues to communicate to these owners through a variety of channels: direct mailings, emails, live phone calls, automated phone calls, text messages and online/social media advertisements. GM vehicles affected include: 2007-2008 Chevrolet Silverado HD; 2007-2008 GMC Sierra HD; 2003-2010 Pontiac Vibe; 2008-2009 Saturn Astra; 2005-2006 Saab 9-2X; 2006-2011 Saab 9-3; and 2006-2009 Saab 9-5.
  • Manufactures, in partnership with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) mailed recall letters to more than 200,000 affected vehicle owners using the ALEA emblem to encourage owners to schedule their FREE airbag repair at a local dealership. An example from Volkswagen can be found here.

For more information about these and other efforts by affected vehicle manufacturers, please visit:

Audi USA https://www.audiusa.com/about/takata
BMW of North America www.bmwusa.com/recall
Daimler Trucks North America https://alliancetruckparts.com/sterling
Daimler Vans USA https://www.mbvans.com/sprinter/owners-resources/recallhttps://www.freightlinersprinterusa.com/freightliner/owners-resources/recall
FCA US LLC www.checktoprotect.orghttps://chryslerpr.com/noticias
Ferrari North America, Inc. https://auto.ferrari.com/en_US/owners/recall-campaign/ 
Ford Motor Company http://fordairbaginfo.com/ LincolnAirbagInfo.com 
General Motors www.gmtakataairbag.com or 1-866-467-9700
American Honda Motor Company www.hondaairbaginfo.com
Infiniti USA https://www.infinitiusa.com/takata-airbag-recall.html 
Jaguar Land Rover North America www.jaguarusa.com/airbagrecallwww.landroverusa.com/airbagrecall
Mazda North American Operations https://www.mazdarecallinfo.com/
McLaren Automotive https://cars.mclaren.com/ownership/america/recall 
Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC www.mbusa.com/recall 
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. https://www.mitsubishicars.com/recall or (888) 648-7820
Nissan North America, Inc. https://www.nissanusa.com/takata-airbag-recall.html 
Subaru of America, Inc. https://www.subaru.com/vehicle-recalls/airbags.html 
Tesla, Inc. https://www.tesla.com/vin-recall-search 
Toyota www.toyota.com/recall https://www.carmaproject.com/homehttps://pressroom.toyota.com/section_display.cfm?section_id=1052
Volkswagen Group of America https://www.vw.com/owners-recalls/ 

If you are a loved one have been seriously injured or killed by a defective airbag, our attorneys are ready to help. Call Pittman, Dutton & Hellums today for a free case evaluation.

New Vape Device Explosion Raises Concern with the FDA

New Vape Device Explosion Raises Concern with the FDA

A recent vape device explosion has increased concerns for the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Already, the FDA has recommendations to avoid “vape” battery explosions. The latest explosion in September 2018 mimicked a smoke bomb detonation in a vehicle. One passenger was airlifted to a hospital, and the driver suffered severe burns.

The vape device shattered and exploded, causing a fire in the vehicle and burning a hole in the driver’s seat. The driver had allegedly recently purchased new batteries for the device.

As we’ve covered, vape pens have posed dangers for years. In May 2018, the first known fatality from an exploding vape pen was reported. Vape pens’ lithium-ion batteries are thought to be the cause of vape pen explosions, which have also caused house fires. The batteries are the same ones used in cell phones, laptops and other electronics. Here’s the latest on the dangers of vape pens and how to stay protected.

New Vape Device Explosion Raises Concern with the FDA More Vape Pen Users Are at Risk

The first modern electronic cigarette, or vape pen, was invented in 2003. Since then, vape pens have become commonplace and can even take the form of actual pens or USB flash drives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that vape pens are not safe for kids, young adults, pregnant women or adults who do not currently use tobacco products. Given that they’ve caused at least 195 explosions and fires from 2009 to 2016, vape pen safety is questionable for all users.

Vaping is particularly popular with teens, who are more likely to use vape pens than cigarettes. A 2017 study reported by the American Psychiatric Association found about 13 percent of junior high students and nearly 28 percent of high schoolers in America used a vaping device in the past year.

More than 30 percent of teen vape pen users will start smoking within 6 months, compared to only 8.1 percent of teens who don’t use vape pens. Two-thirds of teens don’t realize nicotine, which can harm adolescent brain development, is in most vape pens, saying only flavoring is in the pen.

In 2018, the FDA called vaping an “epidemic” for high school students, with more than 1.7 million high school students using vaping devices on at least a monthly basis. The FDA has stated the agency may ban flavored electronic cigarettes, which attract some younger users. While vape pens have been useful in helping some adults quit smoking, the FDA is considering those benefits against the risk of kids becoming addicted to tobacco, with vaping as a gateway.

New Vape Device Explosion Raises Concern with the FDA Dangers of Vape Pens

It wasn’t until only recently that the FDA required vape pens to submit product ingredients listings. Besides the sometimes harmful ingredients vape pens contain, they also may have been manufactured with inherent dangers that can cause explosions or fires at any time.

Lithium-ion batteries are dangerous because if the strip in the battery that keeps electrodes from touching is breached, the electrodes can come into contact and emit heat that causes an explosion. Some of these batteries contain a skin-burning compound, too. Since a person is often holding on to their vape pen when it explodes, these dangers become more intense.

While lithium-ion batteries are widely used in a variety of devices, minor design errors can be deadly. Anyone who uses a vape pen can protect themselves by researching the brand to investigate past problems and complaints. Some manufacturers may cut corners. That’s why buying vape pens without proper research, like buying them from a classmate or off the street, increases likelihood of danger.

The following can all contribute to an increased likelihood of lithium-ion battery failure:

  • Excessive vibration
  • High heat
  • Batteries that are charged below freezing

When a lithium-ion battery is overheating, some warning signs to watch out for include excessive heat, hissing and bulging. It’s best to put the device in a safe place (outdoors on a non-compusitble surface) and move as far away from it as possible if you notice these signs.

Some ways to increase safety while using vape pens include to:

  • Use vape devices with safety features
  • Keep loose batteries in a case to prevent contact with metal objects
  • Only charge the vape device with the charger that came with it, never with a phone or tablet charger
  • Don’t leave a vape device charging unattended, including while you’re sleeping
  • Replace the batteries if they get wet or damaged

The vape device should also come with thorough instructions and recommendations. Read all those and follow them when you use your device.

When Is the Manufacturer to Blame for Exploding Vape Pens?

Lithium-ion batteries can pose significant dangers, and it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to keep all consumers safe, especially when these are used in vape pens. If you, your teen or a loved one is a victim of an exploding vape pen, the manufacturer’s negligence may be to blame.

Some warning signs of negligence include when a manufacturer fails to test vape pen devices altogether or rushes a product to market without proper testing, knowingly uses defective components, and doesn’t provide clear warnings to consumers about dangers.

If you or a loved one has experienced serious injuries because of an exploding vape pen, contact the Pittman, Dutton & Hellums Birmingham defective product attorney team. We offer free consultations and can help you recover the compensation you deserve.