BMW Air Bag Recall

BMW of North America, BMWLLC (BMW) is recalling some 140,000 cars for a driver’s side air bag that could explode and send metal shrapnel into vehicle occupants. The recall affects model year 2004-2005 325i, 325xi, 330i, and 330xi Sedans; model year 2004-2005 325i Sportswagons; model year 2004-2006 330Ci, 325Ci, 325i, and M3 Convertibles; model year 2004-2006 325i, 330i, and M3 Coupe vehicles. Deployment of the driver’s side air bag could trigger excessive internal pressure and cause the inflator to rupture. The NHTSA report says, “The inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking and potentially seriously injuring the vehicle occupants.”

NHTSA Report

Report Receipt Date: June 20, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V348000
Component(s): AIR BAGS
Potential Number of Units Affected: 140,696

Vehicle Make/Model – Model Year(s):

  • BMW 325CI  2004-2006
  • BMW 325I  2004-2006
  • BMW 325XI  2004-2005
  • BMW 330CI  2004-2006
  • BMW 330I  2004-2006
  • BMW 330XI  2004-2005
  • BMW M3  2004-2006

Remedy for BMW Owners

BMW will notify owners, and dealers will, without charge, replace the driver side frontal air bag. The recall began December 1, 2014 for those vehicles originally sold, or currently registered, in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands. All other affected owners will be notified on, or about, February 1, 2015. Owners may contact BMW Customer Relations at 1-800-525-7417.

NHTSA Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

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BMW Recalls Dangerous Air Bags

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Matthews & Associates is investigating accidents in which exploding air bags injured vehicle occupants with flying metal shrapnel. If you or someone you love was hurt by shrapnel from an exploding air bag, contact our experienced car accident and air bag recall attorneys for a free legal consultation.

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Mazda Recalls Dangerous Air Bags

Mazda has2015_mazda_mazda6_angularfront recalled 330,000 cars for a front air bag that can explode in the event of a crash and send shrapnel into occupants. The following cars were recalled for the potentially deadly air bag problem:

Vehicle Make/Model Year(s)

  • MAZDA 2004-2008
  • MAZDA SPEED6  2006-2007
  • MAZDA RX-8  2004-2008

Air Bag can Rupture

Mazda North America Operations (Mazda) announced that it is recalling these certain models from these years because the front driver’s side air bag could rupture in the event of a deployment. Metal fragments could consequently rupture through the bag and strike vehicle occupants, causing potentially serious injury. Mazda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the air bag inflators.

Recall began Oct. 2014

The recall began October 17, 2014 for those vehicles which were originally sold or currently registered in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii. Mazda officials said all other affected owners will be notified by mid-Feb. 2015.

Mazda Contact Information

Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500. Mazda’s number for this recall is 7914J. Note: This recall previously included vehicles being recalled for potential inflator ruptures on passenger frontal air bag inflators. Those inflators and vehicles are now covered by safety recall 14V-773.

 NHTSA Contact Information

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Free Legal Consultation

If you or someone you love was injured in a Mazda vehicle due to a faulty air bag, contact Matthews & Associates for a free legal consultation. The firm is also handling GM recall lawsuits as well as evaluating exploding Takata air bag cases.

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Exploding Air Bags Recalled

Takata Airbags kill People

Seven million cars airbagsin the U.S. with Takata airbags have been recalled for defects. Defective inflator and propellent devices may deploy improperly in a crash, or they could deploy regardless of a crash, shooting metal fragments into vehicle occupants. At least four people have been killed by exploding airbags in the U.S., according to the Center for Auto Safety. All of the deaths occurred in Honda or Acura cars made by Honda Motor.

Related: Air Bag Lawsuit Lawyer

Woman killed by Airbag Shrapnel

Though we do not know the true total of how many serious injuries and/or deaths could be related to the airbag defect, homicide detectives in Orlando, Fla., verified that one woman was killed by shrapnel from an exploding Takata airbag. Hien Tran died last month in Florida after the airbag in her 2001 Honda exploded, sending shrapnel into her face and neck, causing her to bleed to death. Homicide investigators spent two weeks investigating the cuts in Ms. Tran’s neck to determine the weapon(s) used to kill her. She appeared to have been stabbed to death; but detectives finally concluded that her Accord’s exploding airbag killed her. Research alerted them to a case five years earlier in which a woman had also been stabbed in the neck, in Orange County, by an exploding airbag. That woman survived.

Takata Airbag Owners Beware

Owners of affected vehicles would be wise to take note.  The list below shows vehicles with the recalled airbags, but it may not be complete. We do not offer it as legal advice but simply as the list which we are aware has been released so far regarding automobiles with defective Takata airbags. Car makers which are part of the Takata Airbag Recall include Acura, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge/Ram, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Subaru, Toyota.

Airbag Recall Expanded

On Nov. 13, 2014, Honda expanded an airbag recall to include 2003-2005 Honda Accord; 2001-2005 Civic; 2002-2005 CR-V; 2003-2004 Element; 2002-2004 Odyssey; 2003-2005 Pilot; 2006 Ridgeline; 2003-2005 Acura MDX; 2005 Acura RL.

Takata Airbag Recall Cars

Make and Model of Recalled Vehicle

Acura

2002–2003 CL and TL; 2003–2006 MDX; 2005 RL

BMW

2000–2005 3-series sedan and wagon; 2000–2006 3-series coupe, convertible; 2001–2006 M3 coupe, convertible

Chrysler

2005–2008 Chrysler 300; 2007–2008 Aspen

Dodge/Ram

2003–2008 Dodge Ram 1500; 2005–2008 Ram 2500, Dakota, and Durango; 2006–2008 Ram 3500 and 4500; 2008 Ram 5500

Ford

2004 Ranger; 2005–2006 GT; 2005–2007 Mustang

Honda

2001–2007 Accord; 2001–2005 Civic; 2001–2006 CR-V; 2002–2004 Odyssey; 2002–2011 Element; 2003–2007 Pilot; 2006 Ridgeline

Infiniti

2001–2004 Infiniti I30/I35; 2002–2003 Infiniti QX4; 2003–2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45; 2006 Infiniti M35/M45

Lexus

2002–2005 SC430

Mazda

2003–2007 Mazda 6; 2006–2007 Mazdaspeed 6; 2004–2008 Mazda RX-8; 2004–2005 MPV; 2004 B-series

Mitsubishi

2004–2005 Lancer; 2006–2007 Raider

Nissan

2001–2003 Maxima; 2001–2004 Pathfinder; 2002–2006 Nissan Sentra

Pontiac

2003–2005 Vibe

Saab

2005 9-2X

Subaru

2003–2005 Baja, Legacy, Outback; 2004–2005 Impreza, Impreza WRX, Impreza WRX STI

Toyota

2002–2005 Toyota Corolla and Sequoia; 2003–2005 Matrix, Tundra.

 

Related

•  Airbag Lawsuit Lawyer

•   BMW Recall for Dangerous Airbags

•  GM Recall Lawsuit

•  Exploding Air Bags Recalled

 

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Texas Voter ID Law Unconstitutional

In an emergency application filed Justice-Blind-90Oct. 15, citizens’ groups’ attorneys said Texas’ voter ID law – which was rammed into law by the Republican-controlled Texas legislature in the 11th hour before the voting this fall – would lead to ‘massive confusion’ among voters and would disenfranchise a disproportionate number of African-American and Latino voters.

The Christian Science Monitor said several minority groups have joined together to ask  the U.S. Supreme Court to block the state of Texas from enforcing its voter ID law in the approaching mid-term elections.

Expert testimony in the case said roughly 600,000 Texans have no driver’s license or other acceptable form of government-issued photo ID.

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GM Recalls Pontiac G8 and Chevy Caprice for Ignition Switch

General Motors just added Cobalt 2010 for webalmost 50,000 more cars to the 14 million it has already recalled this year for ignition problems.

GM recalled the Pontiac G8 and Chevy Caprice for Ignition Switch issues just last week. The 2008-2009 Pontiac G8 and 2011-2013 Chevrolet Caprice are just the latest of some 30 million cars recalled this year by the beleaguered automaker.

On Oct. 3, GM posted a letter on the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website (pdf) which it had sent to dealers Sept. 4: “There is a risk, under certain conditions, that some drivers may bump the ignition key with their knee and unintentionally move the key away from the ‘run’ position. If this occurs, engine power, and power braking will be affected and power steering may be affected, increasing the risk of a crash.”

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Texas Supreme Court Corrupt, Partisan

Court Watch is a non-partisan, justicer deniedpublic education, non-profit organization “dedicated to fair and open access to the civil justice system for all Texans.” In a study the organization published in 2012, the record is clear.  The Texas Supreme Court is corrupt, partisan, especially after appointments made by Governor Rick Perry.

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GM Executives need Prison Time

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who introduced a bill that would call for much stiffer penalties for auto executives and companies that delay recalls that result in fatal accidents.  If such a bill were to pass, it would likely tend to stop future foot dragging on necessary recalls.

McCaskill announced the new automotive and highway safety bill this month. She said, “Painful recent examples at Toyota and GM have shown us we also must make it easier to hold accountable those who jeopardize consumers’ safety. (With) millions of Americans behind the wheel every day, and more than 33,000 killed on our roads each year, we’ve got to do more to keep our cars and the roads we drive them on safe.”

Senator  McCaskill made her statement during a Senate Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance subcommittee hearing. Government guests included Mary Barra, chief executive officer of General Motors Co.  Ms. Barra sits in the unenviable damage-control hot seat occupied by Jim Carey’s “Dick” in the movie “Fun with Dick and Jane,” about a company that imploded with the dynamite of its own disastrous policies.
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Impala Air Bag Failures Deadly

General Motors has included GM Logothe Chevrolet Impala (2000-2014), historic staple in its fleet, on its list of cars recalled for a faulty ignition switch. Nevertheless, the automaker has yet to add the Impala to the “protocol” list of cars for which it has agreed to pay compensation in injury accidents involving the defective switch. Why the Impala – along with several other cars – is not included on this “protocol” list of cars is a mystery. The Impala appears to have the very same problems as the cars for which GM indicated on June 30, 2014, that it will compensate for injury accidents – the Chevrolet Cobalt (2005-2010) and HHR (2006-2007); the Pontiac G4 (2005-2006), G5 (2007-2010), Pursuit (2005-2006), Solstice (2006-2010); the Daewoo G2X (2007); Opel/Vauxhall GR (2007); and Saturn Ion (2003-2007) and Sky (2007-2010).  The Impala even appears to have an additional airbag defect issue which might make the car an even greater liability than the other cars which GM has decided to include in the initial settlement protocol.

Related: Air Bags Lawsuit Lawyer

Air Bag Failure in Fatal Impala Crashes

A safety group announced in April that an air bag defect is connected to deadly accidents in the GM Chevrolet Impala.

The Center for Auto Safety, in a letter to U.S. regulators penned by Donald Friedman, a former GM researcher who is now a safety consultant on the Center’s staff, said a software problem in the Impala can misread a passenger’s weight and disable the front air bags. Friedman is asking the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open a defect investigation into Impalas made from 2003-2010.

Friedman said at least 143 deaths have resulted from frontal crashes in which an Impala’s air bag failed to deploy. He cited information collected from NHTSA’s fatal-crash database. In 98 of those cases, people killed were wearing seat belts.

Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Washington-based Center, said, “This is a design defect in every GM vehicle with the flawed algorithm.” The Center has tracked recalls and defects since its creation in 1970. Ditlow added, however, that because NHTSA’s databases don’t pinpoint the cause of air-bag failures, it is difficult to estimate how many cases can be tied to a flawed algorithm.

Broad Industry Problem with Air Bags

The Center also questions whether broader problems exist in regard to air bag sensors throughout the automotive industry.

In May 2014, Nissan Motor Co. recalled 989,701 vehicles, including its upscale 2014 Altima sedan, due to its software’s potentially reading an occupied passenger seat as empty, hence stifling its deployment in the event of a crash. So GM isn’t alone with these problems. U.S. investigations in recalls the past two years over air-bag failures also involve Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., Volvo Cars and Chrysler Group LLC products.

Advances in air bags in the last dozen years to meet toughening U.S. regulations have saved many lives, but the more sophisticated technology has added engineering challenges that may be meeting a point of diminishing returns.

Cause of Failures still Undetermined

Friedman, the NHTSA’s acting administrator, told Congress in April that the agency has not been able to determine how air bags in Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions with the defective ignition switches could deactivate with the cars moving. Meanwhile, NHTSA is asking automakers for more algorithm information regarding how air bags deploy with a loss of power.

Impala not alone with Air Bag Problems

One central question is whether GM’s electronic algorithms might inhibit air bag deployment, and whether passengers being bumped from their seats can fool the sensors.

Friedman also stressed that other automakers could be using the same parts as the Impala.

“There’s a very serious indication something is wrong,” said Friedman. He also testified in several court cases ten years ago regarding rollover accidents that crushed roofs. At that time, he pressured NHTSA to adopt a stronger safety standard.

When he was a GM researcher, Friedman helped transfer the automaker’s technology to the Lunar Rover. He has spent the past 30 years consulting on product-liability cases.

Texas Crash Testimony

Friedman was hired by lawyers working for the family of Aurora Martinez after she was involved in a crash that killed her husband in Texas. On April 9, 2011, Ms. Martinez’ 2008 Impala was struck by an SUV on a highway on the passenger side, where her husband, Roberto, was riding. The sedan vaulted one road barrier and struck another head-on.

Mr. Martinez’ passenger-side air bag never deployed, and he died of his injuries. The driver’s air bag deployed, though Aurora Martinez was severely injured.

Friedman used data from the car’s data recorder to show the passenger air bag failed to deploy; it read Roberto Martinez as a small adult, though he weighed 170 pounds. Friedman said that the car’s being briefly bounced and lifted reduced the sensor reading.

Friedman said NHTSA has been in touch with him about the air-bag petition and how he arrived at his conclusions. NHTSA has asked for data and pictures of the accident he studied.

Air Bags Now Better or Worse?

The first generation of air bags sometimes deployed with such force that nearly 300 people were killed, primarily children or small adults in the front seat.

With a mandate from NHTSA that took effect in September 2003, bag makers re-tooled systems so the bags would deploy with less power. Now, front seat weight sensors are supposed to turn the air bag off in proper circumstances. A warning light on the dashboard indicates (by weight), if there’s a child in the seat. Cars now also  detect whether occupants are wearing their seat belts; and bags deploy at a lower force for unbelted occupants.

An Arlington, Virginia-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study in 2010 compared fatality rates among cars with air-bag technology developed to pass a tougher NHTSA crash test with the previous generation of devices. It found, shockingly, more deaths in cars with the newer designs, especially among people wearing seat belts.

One explanation – published in the institute’s “Status Report” newsletter – hazarded the guess that the devices’ algorithms resulted in some air bags not deploying when they could have helped lessen injury.

Impala Air Bag Failures Deadly

It was a surprising finding. “The newest air bags appear to provide suboptimal protections for drivers who buckle up,” Adrian Lund, the institute’s president, said then.

Later, a September 2013 analysis by NHTSA, which used a broader sample of crash data than the 2010 study, showed no statistical difference in fatality rates between the older and newer types  of air bags.

Related

•  Airbag Lawsuit Lawyer

•  GM Recalls 7.6 Million more Cars

•  Complete List of Recalled GM Cars in 2014

•  GM Recall lawsuit

•  Impala Air Bag Failures Deadly

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GM Recall Cases Mount and Change

As GM recallGM Logo cases mount and change, attorneys for General Motors announced this week that the car maker will pay injury claims for people who incurred medical expenses within 48 hours of having been injured by cars which had a defective ignition switch. The defective switch can inadvertently cut out and lead to a loss of power, which can then lead to the failure of power steering and brakes, which can in turn lead to an accident made worse by the failure of airbags, which can also occur because of the loss of power.

The 48-hour treatment limit alters the original GM settlement agreement announced on June 30, 2014. At that time, inclusion in the GM settlement required, at a minimum, that a person had to have visited the ER or suffered hospitalization immediately following the failure of an airbag to deploy because of a defective ignition switch.

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GM recalls 7.6 Million more Cars for Ignition Switch

General Motors announced on GM LogoJune 30, 2014 that it will conduct six additional safety recalls which involve some 7.6 million vehicles from model years 1997 to 2014.

This latest GM Recall News was so shocking that it briefly halted trading of the company’s shares. General Motors announced that in order to pay for the recall costs, it will take a $1.2 billion charge in the second quarter. That represents a huge increase over the $700 million charge the company had previously projected to take for earlier recalls.

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