Nissan has announced that it is recalling more than 54,000 vehicles due to a defect that can cause side airbags to deploy when a vehicle door is slammed shut. When a vehicle occupant enters a vehicle, or when another person shuts the door for a passenger, unexpected airbag deployment can lead to serious injuries. The recall affects certain Nissan Versas from the model year 2012.

Following reports of inadvertent airbag deployment caused by slamming doors, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation that began in fall of 2016. According to NHTSA, Nissan Versa owners reported that both seat-mounted airbags and curtain airbags can deploy without warning.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that unexpected deployment was caused by side airbag impact sensors manufactured with incorrect materials. These materials can oxidize and deteriorate to the point that they render impact sensors incapable of determining the difference between a collision and a door being closed with too much force. Nissan received complaints from vehicle owners who had unexpected airbag deployment both entering and exiting their vehicles.

If you own one of the affected 2012 Nissan Versa vehicles, you should use caution when closing vehicle doors and contact Nissan for free installation of new sensors and jumper harness.

Although the recall has been made, tens of thousands of vehicles are still equipped with the defective impact sensors, subjecting vehicle owners and their passengers to the risk of suffering preventable injuries. Fortunately, our civil justice system provides the pathways through which victims harmed by defective products can pursue financial compensation for their damages.

Airbags have been one of the most significant safety innovations in the auto industry, but when defects occur during the design or manufacturing phase, unsafe airbags can cause severe injuries to vehicle occupants who had every right to believe they were safe. By pursuing a civil lawsuit against the manufacturer responsible for the defect and subsequent injuries – in this case, Nissan – victims can put themselves in position to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering, among other damages.

As a proven product liability law firm that represents victims and families throughout West Palm Beach and the state of Florida, Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Keen & Littky-Rubin is actively reviewing cases from victims who suffered serious injuries as a result of unexpected airbag deployment in Nissan vehicles. If you have questions about your potential case, rights, and how our West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys may be able to help you, contact us for a free case evaluation.