Used car dealers may liable for airbag injuries.

November 18, 2014

A lawsuit has been filed against a car dealership accused of selling a vehicle with a recalled airbag.


According to the ABC broadcast report, Stephanie Erdman of San Antonio Texas was in a car accident last year, and she suffered injuries when a piece of twisted metal from the airbag device struck her in the face. She is suing Honda, Takata (the airbag manufacturer) AND the car dealership that sold her a used 2002 Honda Civic. 


Erdman says she was never advised by the car dealership that there had been an airbag recall on the vehicle she purchased from them.


Currently, automakers are required by law to notify new car dealers and the car's registered owner about any recalls. However, there is no law preventing car dealers from selling vehicle with open recalls or requiring used car dealers to check for them.


Erdman's lawyer said, "I think there's certainly a moral obligation that if you're going to be in the business of selling products, pre-owned vehicles, that you assure that there are not known defects." He continued, "The very device that's designed to provide supplemental restraint or protection in a crash is what's actually causing the injuries to people."


ABC news conducted an investigative report, visiting nine used car lots undercover, to see what salespeople would say when asked about airbag recalls. During the investigation, only one car dealer checked for a recall. Other dealerships told the undercover reporter there were no airbag recalls on the vehicles in question. 


Whether or not the precedent will be set that holds all car dealers liable for injuries caused by the known-defective products they sell is still to be determined. But if this lawsuit is successful, look for the floodgates to open beyond the automobile and parts manufacturers as potential litigants and expand to the dealerships themselves....and if car dealers are knowingly (or should know) selling defective vehicles to the general public, they should be held accountable.


See our previous blogs about vehicle recalls and possible lawsuits here.


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