Brandi Owens, a Georgia-based women was driving her Chevrolet Cruze in October 2013 when she suffered an accident. Due to a technical problem of a faulty airbag, she lost the sight on her left eye. After bumping into a car in front of her, the airbag erupted “with such force that it detached from the steering wheel and struck (her) in the face, causing her left eye to rupture. She is now permanently and completely blind in her left eye”, according to the lawsuit. General Motors recalls over 29.000 units of Chevrolet Cruze after preliminary investigations.
Owens blames the automaker for constructing over-powered airbags, which should not have deployed in such a minor accident. The policemen found the airbag resting on the backseat after the accident. The damages Brandi Owens claims, who was 25 at the time of the accident, are not known at the moment.
General Motors recalls Cruze due to faulty airbag inflators
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received the files on Thursday. Sources state that it is precisely Owens case. It seems that Takata, the airbag producer, is facing the same problem in the cases of other auto-maker vehicles as well. Out of concern, GM decided to recall 29.000 cars featuring the same airbags provided by Takata. General Motors recalls total up to 45 this year alone.
NHTSA declared that they are up to date with GM’s plans to recall the cars to replace the Takata inflators “which can result in the inflator rupturing during deployment and can lead to metal fragments striking occupants and no inflation of the air bag”. According to NHTSA, the inflators used in the present Cruze version are different than the ones they initially tested.
Takata airbags determined recalls for other car-makers too. Honda and Toyota have recalled together around 3 million cars for inspection. This is not the first time that Takata finds itself in this situation, as similar accusations have been pointed at the company in the last several years. Takata’s spokesman has not issued a statement yet.
GM’s Cruze has seen blooming sales with an 18 percent increase in May 2014 alone, but Chevrolet decided to pause its sales until the matter is settled. Dealers are reported to be concerned over declining revenues and bonuses and General Motors recalls are becoming a burden for them, especially during the summer time.
The case is Owens v. General Motors, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, No. 14-1259.