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.
Get the Fix by calling your local dealer; it will be repaired for free.
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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:
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.
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.
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:
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, Bradley & Mann Birmingham defective product attorney team. We offer free consultations and can help you recover the compensation you deserve.