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Do You Own a Dodge Ram?
Over 1.2 million Dodge Ram Pickup Trucks are being recalled over a potentially fatal software glitch. This software issue can cause airbags and seatbelts to fail in the event of a rollover crash. So far, the glitch has been connected to two injuries and one death. Vehicles included in the recall include:
- 2013 – 2016 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup Truck
- 2013 – 2016 Dodge Ram 2500 Pickup Truck
- 2014 – 2016 Dodge Ram 3500 Pickup Truck
The recalled vehicles have been sold in the United States, Canada, Mexico and other countries outside of North America. This software glitch causes the vehicle’s computer to incorrectly determine that a sensor has failed due to “significant underbody impact”, which would typically occur if the vehicle was driven off-road. When this software error occurs, it could mean that the airbags and seatbelt pretensioners might not deploy correctly, if at all, during a rollover crash. Owners will be notified and changes will begin to be made starting late June 2017 at no cost to the owner of the vehicle.
In a string of airbag related issues that is plaguing the automotive industry, Toyota is still struggling to recall all of the vehicles containing Takata airbags that could affect up to 50 million vehicles worldwide. The Takata airbag issues have been linked to at least a dozen deaths in the United States alone.
How Do Airbags Work?
The purpose of an airbag is to protect a person in the event of an accident by inflating upon impact. Unless you are involved in a collision, a properly functioning airbag should not deploy. In other words, merely slamming your foot on the brakes should not cause the car to decelerate fast enough to trigger the airbag.
- The process begins when your vehicle decelerates at a rapid pace due to a crash. An electronic chip is the device that detects this rapid deceleration which then triggers a circuit.
- This circuit then sends an electrical current to a heating element, which ignites an explosive.
- This explosive material burns very fast to produce inert gas, which is what fills the airbag.
- This explosive sequence is designed to blow the cover off of the steering wheel (on the driver’s side).
- By the time your head hits the bag, it is fully inflated. The entire process takes a fraction of a second.
- Once your head hits the airbag, the momentum from your head hitting will deflate the bag as air escapes from vents built into the bag.
The deflation of the airbag is what prevents head injuries for those involved in car wrecks.
Common Injuries Caused by Airbags
While airbags are inherently designed to prevent injury, sometimes this is not the case whether the airbag is working properly or not. The most common types of injuries caused by an airbag include:
- Burns: most commonly on the arms, chest, and face;
- Chest injuries: airbags can break bones in the chest or injure soft tissues;
- Eyes: sometimes airbag deployment can cause partial or total blindness;
- Face: an airbag deploying has the potential to break facial bones and injure soft tissue;
- Neck/back injuries: often an airbag can result in chronic pain in the neck and back.
Filing an Airbag Injury Claim
A successful personal injury lawsuit involving an airbag injury begins with deciding which party to sue. An injured party could potentially file a suit against the airbag manufacturer, the automobile manufacturer, or even a party that repaired the airbag. Damages that can be potentially collected could include medical bills, financial damages (lost wages), and psychological damages (pain and suffering).
Zinda Law Group has experience assisting clients with these types of airbag-related injuries. For more information about how airbags work and how we can potentially help if you have been injured due to an airbag defect click here or call 800-863-5312 for a free consultation.