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Piecemeal airbag recall may put drivers at risk

December saw the ninth fatality of a driver associated with Takata air bags. The South Carolina man's airbag deployed forcefully after he hit a cow with his car, sending shards of metal into his neck. The man died from his injuries. According to the man's lawyer, the accident wouldn't have otherwise been forceful enough to cause death.

Rather than issue a total recall of all Takata airbags, so far regulators have taken a more conservative approach, initially opting to recall mostly air bags from older cars that had spent significant time in the heat and humidity of the Gulf Coast.

The deaths have been linked not to the air bags themselves, but rather at defective inflators that deploy too explosively, sending shrapnel into the interior of the car. Currently it can be difficult to find out if your car uses the potentially dangerous air bags. Either you would have to have your dealership dissemble your car to find out, or else the car manufacturer would have to volunteer the information, which not all car makers have. 

Millions of drivers in the U.S. likely have Takata air bags and don't know it. Until or unless there is a full recall of all such airbags, it seems likely that there could be more deaths associated with the defective inflators.  The families of the people killed in these accidents will likely explore pursuing products liability lawsuits. If you or a family member is injured or killed by what you suspect is one of those defective air bags, speak to a lawyer immediately to find out if you may be able to pursue compensation for your losses. 

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