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Certain car owners receive “Do Not Drive” warning in ongoing defective airbag case

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2024 | Defective Products & Consumer Protection

Nissan and the National Highway Transit Safety Administration recently issued a stark “Do Not Drive” warning to owners of certain older Nissan vehicles as part of a long-running investigation into defective airbags.

The warning affects more than 80,000 older Nissan models that have unrepaired airbags made by Takata. Safety officials say that, due to a design defect, these airbags can injure or even kill the drivers and passengers they were meant to protect. Models affected include the 2002-2006 Sentra, the 2002-2004 Pathfinder and the 2002-200 Infiniti QX4.

All these vehicles were previously recalled in order to fix the defective airbags, but the NHTSA and Nissan say tens of thousands have yet to be repaired. The new warning explicitly orders owners of the vehicles to stop driving them until they can be repaired.

Huge recall

Safety advocates have long known about problems with the Takata airbags, and federal regulators began issuing recalls to repair the problem more than 10 years ago. The recalls affected not only Nissan, but also models from Ford, Daimler Chrysler, Honda, Subaru, General Motors and other automakers. All told, the recall involved more than 17 million vehicles, making it one of the largest automotive recalls in history.

According to the NHTSA, more than two dozen people have been killed because of the defects.

Product liability

Federal regulators work with automakers to recall dangerously defective vehicles, but in many cases, securing compensation for the injured is up the injured themselves.

Those injured by defective products can hold manufacturers and others accountable through the personal injury lawsuits on the basis of product liability. This term refers to a legal principle that can hold designers, manufacturers and others legally responsible after their defective products injure consumers. In many cases, a large number of injured parties join their cases together in a class action. By combining forces, they can better take on powerful corporations and others.