Vehicle recalls are certainly nothing new, but their scope certainly is. Since there are relatively few suppliers, a single component can affect the safety of tens of millions of vehicles across a wide variety of makes. Therefore, an issue with the Chevrolet might affect not just a Buick but also GMC or a Cadillac. One potential issue that might arise comes with the recall issued in May of certain Subaru models including the Legacy, Outback, Impreza and Baja vehicles.
What's the Issue Potentially Causing Colorado Car Accidents?
Cars sold by Subaru for model year 2003 to 2008 have a certain defect that occurs after a "long-term exposure to absolute humidity and temperature cycling". As a result, "inflator rupture may result in metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants resulting in serious injury or death."
While a notice was issued in May and a further recall was issued in July, the simple fact of the matter is that parts that would replace these degraded components have not arrived at Subaru dealerships in Colorado or throughout the rest of the country. Subaru's sole solution at this point is to recommend that there be no passengers in the front row, even though this would still not protect the driver in the case of an accident where the airbags deployed in an accident in Colorado or elsewhere.
Why This Recall Could Reach Millions of Vehicles
Colorado sees a very high rate of Subaru sales for a variety of reasons including standard all-wheel drive and brand loyalty. As a result, this affects thousands of residents. One problem with the recall is that there are some signs that it may not be limited to older cars.
If one examines recent owner manuals, the 2014 Subaru Impreza indicates that moisture is an ongoing concern in airbag deployment. It notes that if the "front passenger's seat cushions wet, this may adversely affect the ability of the system to determine deployment." In practice, the passenger airbag system turns off completely leaving the occupant completely unprotected.
Perhaps more startling that it indicates the likely continuing of moisture protection issues in the safety system. If it's clear that older Imprezas can see parts degrade, one way to limit the issue in the future is to turn off the system if there is moisture present. Obviously, a recall is still possible but it could limit Subaru's liability in even MORE Colorado car crashes. Unfortunately, what this also means is that while a link isn't certain between moisture degradation and systems in Subarus spanning more than a decade, the car maker is choosing a startling path: Risk the lives of front occupants by turning off airbag systems in the case of even tiny amounts of water.
If you've been injured by faulty airbags contact our experienced defective product attorneys today for a free case evaluation.
A copy of the Subaru recall notice is available at: https://www.cars.com/recalls/subaru-impreza-2008/