An air bag can cause injuries even if it isn’t defective. Receiving routine car maintenance and being aware of product recalls that may impact your vehicle can help keep you and those you drive with stay safe.

Your air bags could be defective, and you might not know it until you or a loved one suffers from a serious or fatal injury due to a malfunction. It’s crucial to understand the potential injuries of a working or faulty air bag and the importance of addressing a factory recall.

Potential injuries

You’ve probably heard about the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign countless times. It’s a way to penalize those who refuse to buckle up and prove that a seat belt can be the difference between life and death in a car accident. However, what you might not know is seat belts are meant to work in tandem with air bags. If you don’t wear a seat belt and end up in a crash, the air bag’s force can injure or kill you.

These are some other injuries caused by air bags:

  • Traumatic lesions
  • Chemical burns
  • Damage to eyes
  • Bone fractures
  • Bruises

If the air bag has a potential defect, like those involved in the widespread Takata air bag recall, other serious and fatal injuries could occur. The Takata recall is due to an inflator defect that causes an explosion and metal shards to spew during air bag deployment.

Recalls and repairs

To keep you and your loved ones protected from an air bag injury, it’s important to take recalls and regular repairs seriously.

You shouldn’t ignore notifications of recalls on any car parts. Even if you are safe driver, you aren’t immune to others careless maneuvers on the road. So, the least you can do is keep safety features like your air bag or brakes in check.

When the title of the vehicle is in your name, you should receive mail or email notifications on any recalls that could impact your car’s make and model. You can also look up recalls within the last 15 years by entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the Safer Car website powered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

If you need to repair an air bag that has been deployed, then make sure it isn’t counterfeit. And, if you need have a young child who needs to sit in the front seat due to medical or other safety reasons, then you should consider seeking authorization to install an air bag on/off switch.

Although, air bags are meant to protect you from much serious injuries, it’s worth following up on an illuminated air bag maintenance light or recall alert to preserve your life.