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Takata airbag injury, Chicago auto defect lawyersDefective Takata airbags, which caused one of the biggest automotive recalls in history, were linked to 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries. Exploding on impact, the defective airbags sent metal shrapnel flying throughout the car and at its occupants. But, until now, no one really understood why. Scientists say they now have the answer.

A Multi-Faceted Problem

According to NPR, ten automobile manufacturing companies banded together and hired a team of rocket scientists so they could better understand what exactly had caused the airbag problems. What they found was not just one contributing factor, but several. Exposure to humidity, problems with both the manufacturing and design, and the use of a volatile chemical known as ammonium nitrate are all to blame, the scientists say.

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Chrysler defect, Chicago car accident lawyersTime and time again, corporations selling deadly or defective products manage to conceal their wrongdoings from the public eye. Even as more injuries, deaths, lawsuits, and settlements pile up, indiscretions are sealed and hidden through sealed court documents. It is both disturbing and disgusting. And it happens much more frequently than most people realize.

Remington, Chrysler, Trinity, AMG, and More

A power system defect that caused Chrysler vehicles to stop without warning while driving them is just one of the many examples of companies that have been allowed to seal lawsuit documents, continue to sell their products, and not issue a recall. As was the motion filed by plaintiffs in lawsuits against Chrysler—a plea with the courts to force them into notifying their customers of the danger. Yet it, along with the majority of evidence, was originally sealed. Just like in so many other cases:

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Kia gear shift recall, Chicago defective autoparts lawyerIn a year in which vehicle recalls have hit record numbers, Kia issues its fifth one for the year. This time, the South Korean automaker is recalling 377,000 vehicles because of gear shift defects that can cause the vehicle to roll away or cause an accident. So far, there have been three injuries from the defective car part, but no reported deaths.

Too Much Pressure Reportedly Causes Gear Shift to Break

According to the press release issued by Kia, the gear shifts crack if they receive too much pressure. Once cracked, the vehicles can then shift out of gear on their own. Vehicles affected by the recall include all Kia Sorentos manufactured from 2011 through 2013—a total of 377,000 vehicles.

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Volkswagen injury, under-reporting, Chicago personal injury attorneysStill in the midst of handling its diesel emission scandal, Volkswagen is coming under question for another, unrelated problem: the possible under-reporting of U.S. deaths and injuries. Though they would be far from the only auto manufacturers to have done so, a recent study reveals they may be one of the worst offenders, having nine times fewer injuries and deaths than the average manufacturer and half the injuries and deaths as those that have already been cited for failure to comply with reporting regulations. If found to be true, this could mean serious trouble for Volkswagen.

Volkswagen and Reporting Statistics

Fifteen years ago, Ford Explorers equipped with Firestone tires were blowing out and failing at an unusually high rate, causing numerous rollover accidents. It was not until more than 200 people had died before anyone realized that a defective car parts were causing the accidents. This was when and why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started requiring that auto manufacturers report deaths and injuries that occurred in their vehicles.

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Takata airbag recall death, Chicago personal injury lawyerAn eighth death has been linked to the recalled airbags from Takata Corp. of Japan. A Los Angeles woman suffered neck and head injuries when the Honda civic she was driving crashed and the airbag deployed, sending shrapnel flying into the body of the car and the victim. This death has become more prevalent in the ongoing recall because the car being driven was a rental car.

The Honda civic the victim was driving had previously been recalled in 2009 and the owner of the vehicle had been notified four times, according to Honda, about the recall and that the vehicle needed repaired. Mark Rosekind, the administrator of the Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), stated, “The fact that this was a rental vehicle that had not been remedied is more evidence for why we are seeking author to prohibit sale or rental of any vehicle with an open safety recall.”

Rental car companies should be held to the same standards as car dealerships when vehicles receive recalls. Renting a car to a consumer when the company knows there is a recall is a product liability case. Currently, only dealerships are required to repair recalled vehicles and defective car parts before they can sell the car. Rental car companies should also be required to take a recalled vehicle out of their rotation until the defective part is fixed.

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