Getting an unsafe product out of the hands of consumers is extremely important. It becomes especially urgent when the defective or dangerous product is one that should be protecting people. Honda recently announced that they are expanding the recall of certain Honda models due to faulty air bags that can fatally injure drivers.
There have been reports of at least two deaths and 18 injuries as a result of these faulty airbags. The latest injury occurred in Florida in August, which is allegedly what prompted this latest extension of the recall. This is the fourth, and hopefully last, expansion of the original recall announced in November 2008.
The problem with the airbags is the presence of "excessive moisture in the inflator propellant" which overly inflates the bag. When deployed, parts of the expanded airbags can explode and eject metal and plastic pieces which can injure or kill drivers.
Recalling a product can be quite costly for a company. One report estimates that this recall will cost Honda around $1,000 per car. In this case, Honda must examine about 603,000 U.S. vehicles in order to find the 640 faulty air bags.
Unfortunately, there are companies who do not recall a dangerous product until it is too late because of cost. In cases where a product has been shown to be dangerous, companies can be liable for the damage caused by the product.
It's important to hold companies financially accountable for their goods, but it's also important to protect the public and ensure all dangerous products are removed from the marketplace. Those who have been injured as a result of a faulty or dangerous product may want to consider a product liability lawsuit.
Source: USA TODAY, "Honda expands 'shrapnel' air bag recall -- again," Dec. 2, 2011