Defective Airbags Cause Financial Headache and Injury in Chicago

A Chicago woman was driving her Envoy Excel at about 25 miles per hour when suddenly the airbags deployed. Now, the woman suffers not only from a swollen arm, but also is enduring hefty bills for a rental vehicle while her SUV is being looked at to determine what happened, according to FOX Chicago.

The car’s manufacturer reported that the investigation could take a few weeks to a few months. But the driver believes the company is trying to stall, and hiding what could be another case of recalled vehicles in Illinois and elsewhere.
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Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that the woman had her vehicle towed to the nearest GMC dealership so that they could get to the root of the problem. The service manager said he was instructed by corporate management not to touch the vehicle.

“We’re sitting there trying to figure out what happened. There’s no malfunction, nothing’s broken nothing hit us, we hit nothing the road was clear,” said the driver of the Envoy Excel. She also says she has owned the vehicle for six years, but after this incident she never wants to drive a GMC again.

Reports indicate that the dealership has seen this problem before, but is not authorized to release any information regarding these incidents. The Envoy Excel has been the subject of several recalls, including faulty ball bearings and malfunctioning door latches.

GMC has agreed to pay for the reimbursement of the car rental only if the incident is proven to be their fault. Until then, the Chicago woman is stuck footing the $200 a week rental bill.

Typically how it works is the registered owner of a vehicle will receive a recall notice once a manufacturer has discovered dangerous and malfunctioning issues with a vehicle. Unfortunately, sometimes vehicle owners don’t get these recall notifications in time, if ever. We have reported here before on the strides the industry has made in vehicle safety. But we have also reported how new technology can create hazards.

Sometimes those hazards involve in-car technology such as navigation and entertainment systems. And sometimes those hazards can result from vehicle defects.

The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act allows the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue specific vehicle safety standards to help vehicles up to par and to keep motorists safe. These standards require vehicle manufacturers to recall vehicles that have not met federal safety standards or have been found to have safety-related defects. Since this act was enacted in 1966, the auto industry has recalled more than 400 million vehicles, nearly 50 million tires, more than 65 million pieces of motor vehicle equipment and more than 40 million child car seats.

Here are some recent major recalls:

-Suzuki Recalling Grand Vitara, XL-7 SUVs: Accelerator Cable.

-Ford Escape Recall: Seat Belt.

-Volvo Recall: Fuel Leak.

-Chrysler: Jeep Liberty
-Ford Recalls: 2001-2003 Windstar Vans.

-Nissan Recalls: 2.5 Million Units.

-Honda: Ignition Flaw.

-Subaru Recalls: 2004 Models.

-Toyota Tacoma Pickups: Fuel Leak.

You are urged to visit safecar.gov to ensure that you or your family’s vehicle has not been issued a safety recall. This website allows you to search for any recalls regarding your specific car through the make, model and year of manufacture.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Chicago car accident because of recalled or defective vehicle, contact Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

Additional Resources:

Airbag Explodes in Woman’s GMC Vehicle Without Accident, by Darlene Hill, FOX Chicago News
More Blog Entries:

GDL Program Risks for Car Accidents in Illinois for Graduated Drivers?, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, October 2, 2011

Child Passenger Safety Week Kicks Off to Help Save Children in Illinois Car Accidents, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, September 24, 2011