Our Knoxville readers who drive or ride in cars rightfully expect that the car manufacturer assembled a product that is safe to drive. And while driver error often plays a role in car accidents, cars are designed and marketed with certain safety features to keep vehicle occupants safer in a crash. One of the most important is the air bag. When it fails to deploy, it may be worth wondering if a manufacturer’s defect played a role.

One family, who lost a member in a fatal car accident, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against General Motors, the car dealership that sold the car and a parts supply company for the woman’s death.

According to the lawsuit, the woman was driving her 2003 Chevrolet in 2010 when her vehicle spun out of control, crashing into a ditch. The airbags in the car did not deploy. It is likely that GM will counter that the woman’s death was caused by the accident, but could she have survived if her car was working the way it was designed to?

The family originally filed the lawsuit in state court in the southern state where the accident took place, but recently re-filed the suit in U.S. District Court. It accuses the defendants of negligently designing, manufacturing and marketing the car.

Should everyone worry that a car that is in perfect working condition and is only seven years old not have working air bags? Car manufacturers cannot skimp when putting cars together. They have a responsibility to provide safe vehicles, and this lawsuit will help remind them of that.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, “Wrongful death lawsuit filed against GM after car’s air bags failed to deploy,” Michelle Keahey, Jan. 13, 2013