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Toyota Announces Recall of Almost 900,000 Vehicles Because of Defective Airbag Sensors

January 31, 2013

Although more extensive use of airbags in cars, trucks and SUVs has contributed to fewer serious permanent injuries and fatalities in motor vehicle collisions, defective airbags can expose vehicle occupants to devastating injuries.

When an airbag deploys unnecessarily or at the wrong time it can cause broken bones, blindness, traumatic brain injuries and other serious consequences. Defective airbag systems continue to be an important safety issue for motorists as evidenced by the announcement made by Toyota this week that it is recalling almost 900,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles because of faulty airbag sensors. Over 750,000 of the vehicles were sold to drivers traveling U.S. roadways while almost another 150,000 were sold to motorists in Japan and Mexico.

Toyota has suffered a glut of problems in recent years that have adversely impacted their well-regarded brand, including issues with faulty floor mats, sticky acceleration pedals and malfunctioning brake systems. While Toyota regained its position as the top selling automaker during 2012, the news has been inundated with lawsuits and recalls associated with defective Toyota vehicles involved in collisions over the last few years.

The announced defect involves the airbag control module for the supplemental restraint system installed in the Corolla and Matrix vehicles subject to the recall. The manufacturer has indicated that the airbag control module could be equipped with malfunctioning circuit boards. When the device malfunctions, Toyota has indicated it could cause an unsafe buildup of heat or cause the airbags or seat belt pretensioners to deploy even though there has not been a collision.

Airbags and seatbelts constitute some of the most vital safety equipment in motor vehicles. When they function correctly, they may save the lives of vehicle occupants. Seatbelts or airbags that malfunction, however, leave vehicle occupants unprotected. Although vehicle manufacturers may be legally responsible for injuries suffered because safety equipment fails or for increased severity of injuries, automakers and their insurance companies typically have almost limitless resources to dispute whether the safety equipment functioned correctly. At Montlick and Associates, we work closely with various experts, which may include accident reconstruction experts, when developing theories of liability and evidence to establish causation in defective vehicle cases.

When automakers manufacture defective motor vehicles, they may be strictly liable for injuries caused by the malfunctioning components when these flaws cause a collision or more severe injuries. Defective airbags that deploy in low impact collisions or when no collision has occurred can be more dangerous than an actual collision at lower rates of speed. Airbags deploy at rates of speed of up to 200 mph so it is important that they have fully deployed before making impact with the human body.

If you have been involved in an accident and your safety belt or airbag did not function correctly, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Montlick and Associates is available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our Georgia personal injury attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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