In November, General Motors announced it was recalling certain 2012 Chevrolet Cruze and Sonic and Buick Verano cars because of potential problems with the driver's side front airbags. According to The Washington Post, (11/14/12) just over 2,700 cars are believed to be affected by the recall. The issue is that the shorting bar may contact the primary stage airbag terminals, which can result in the airbag failing to deploy in a crash.
Failure to deploy can cause serious injury to the driver of the vehicle, who may come into contact with the steering wheel in an accident, causing traumatic brain injuries, whiplash and other head and spinal injuries.
Chrysler also announced a recall in November following concerns about airbags deploying unexpectedly. CNNMoney (11/9/12) reports that Chrysler recalled more than 900,000 Jeeps because the front and side airbags could deploy at any time while the vehicle was in operation, but without a crash. When it made the announcement, Chrysler said there were no accidents caused by the airbag deploying but there were 215 reports of airbags deploying unnecessarily, with approximately 80 minor injuries.
Included in the recall are certain 2002 and 2003 Jeep Liberty vehicles and 2002 to 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees.
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When they work properly, airbags are vital to maintaining the safety of passengers in a vehicle. When they fail to work—either by deploying unexpectedly or by failing to deploy when they should—defective airbags can cause serious, permanent injury to the people they were meant to protect.