air bag lawsuits blame nissan for eye injuries
This is how it happened: On April, a car he took hit a partition on a road in Washington, DC. C.
This is not a big accident;
The 94-year Nissan Altima doesn\'t even need a trailer.
But the air bag hit him so hard that he had to remove Warsome\'s injured left eye.
According to his medical records, the surgeon was unable to restore the vision of his right eye because \"the retina was completely crushed \".
Warsome, a 74-year-old Somali immigrant, said through a translator: \"I can no longer see the sky . \".
\"I can\'t cook, I can\'t walk, I can\'t help my grandchildren. . . .
I don\'t know what to do.
\"In order to do their job well, airbags have to be inflated at lightning speed, so they are always likely to cause damage.
But security groups and victims say passengers
Side airbags for certain Altimas--
Models in the early 1994 and 95 years-
Can cause terrible damage.
At least 40 serious eye injuries were caused by airbags, they said, including permanent blindness in one or two eyes in some cases.
Normally, these injuries to the passenger occur in such a minor crash that the driver of the car is not hurt.
Nissan has firmly denied that the airbag is defective, saying that the frequency and severity of eye injuries are similar to those of other cars.
\"We know it\'s a highquality bag . . .
And perform well on the pitch, \"said Scott Vasin, spokesman for Torrance --
Based in Nissan North America
But consumer groups are trying to solve the problem.
\"People should not lose sight because drivers hit a roadside or fender --
\"Bend,\" said Joan Clay Brook, president of the Public Citizen who asked for the recall.
Clarence Ditlow, head of the consumer group automotive safety center based in Washington, added: \"I have never seen such a defect, and it has such a unique pattern of damage ---
\"Airbags are a focus of long-term attention --
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is conducting an investigation and may request a recall if nearly 200,000 vehicles are found to be defective.
Lawrence Barron, Portland, Oregon
Lawyers who sued Nissan on behalf of a dozen alleged victims argued that videos obtained from Nissan during legal discovery revealed unusual dangers posed by airbags.
Barron said, unlike most airbags that spread sideways in pillows,
Like the shape, the associated Altima airbag is deployed back to the passenger area like a fist.
He and others compared the effect with the effect of boxing gloves hitting passengers on their faces at a speed close to 160 miles per hour.
In the middle of 95 years, Nissan turned to a new airbag design.
It\'s a quiet decision, the consumer group says, and the company knows it\'s not safe.
However, Bob Yakushi, senior manager of Nissan automotive safety engineering, said the design changes have been in progress, not for safety reasons.
As for boxing-
Glove ushi said the airbag \"deployment mode\" for early models was similar to some other models.
\"You can\'t just look at the shape [of the air bag]
\"And concluded that this is the cause of the injury,\" he said . \".
Casting a shadow on the debate is the lack of comprehensive, widely accepted data on airbag rates
Damage related to various models of cars and trucks.
However, the information gathered by NHTSA in the survey does indicate that Altimas are different.
The agency requires Nissan and 12 other manufacturers to disclose the number of reported injuries to the passenger\'s eyes or faceside air bags.
75 such reports involved Nearly 249,000 Altimas produced in the early 94 and 95 years.
A total of 57 complaints occurred.
5 million vehicles produced by other manufacturers.
There are 30 Altima injury reports and 1 in every 100,000 vehicles.
5 Other vehicles--
Ratio of 20 to 1.
But in the case of duel statistics, Nissan cited a database of New York state that shows Altima
Avoid an average record of air bag damage to face and eyes.
Opponents argue that New York\'s data is too vague and incomplete to make useful comparisons.
NHTSA began investigating these airbags in March 2001.
The length of the investigation may be due to the complexity of the case and the heavy workload of the agency.
But impatient safety advocates have accused former agency officials of extending the time of the case as well in protecting airbags. Erika Z.
From 1985 to 89, NHTSA\'s top lawyer, Jones, represented Nissan in the defect investigation.
Paul Jackson Rice, who follows Jones as chief legal adviser to NHTSA, represents the airbag supplier Takata-Gerico Inc.
\"I have never seen an investigation by two former chief advisors trying to stop the recall,\" said ditro of the auto safety center.
In an interview on Friday, Jones said, \"there are strict regulations on the conduct of former government employees handling affairs in their previous institutions, and I have always adhered to the letter and spirit of these rules.
In addition, she said NHTSA\'s officials were \"neutral and objective and unlikely to be unduly influenced by the fact that I was involved.
\"On Friday, the Center for car safety filed a lawsuit against NHTSA accusing it of violating the federal Freedom of Information Act.
According to the lawsuit, the agency failed to respond to repeated requests from Jones and other Nissan delegates and NHTSA employees for details of the private meeting on June.
NHTSA officials declined to discuss the investigation, and spokesman Tim Hurd said on Friday that the agency did not see the lawsuit and could not comment.
Jones also declined to comment on the lawsuit.
According to NHTSA estimates, airbags have saved 9,325 lives over the years.
But since 1990, 215 people have been killed as airbags expand at low prices.
Serious frontal collision
Most of them are children or young adults. most people don\'t have seat belts. -
So when the airbag starts to inflate, their head or chest is far forward.
\"It\'s a great technology, but like any complicated technology ---
In particular, the introduction of energy into vehicles-
You have to be very careful about how to balance protection interests and potential harm, \"said Susan Ferguson, vice president of research at the Road Safety Insurance Institute.
Although the number of airbags continues to grow, the number of casualties has dropped sharply.
103 airbag deaths in 1997
98, but only eight last year.
Experts believe that the design changes in 1998 and later models made the airbag less expanded.
Another factor is the success of educational efforts aimed at keeping children out of the seat of the front passenger.
Even so, more than 1.
Due to airbags, 2 million cars were recalled this year.
Usually involves bags that should not be inflated or should not be inflated.
In addition to the Nissan survey, NHTSA has been involved in several other airbag surveys involving various brands and models.
As for Nissan, it has been sued by at least 30 people, claiming serious eye injuries caused by the Altima airbag.
It is believed that the company has settled most of the cases but will not say how much.
Among these solutions, Noma Brenard was a victim of an airbag injury.
The speed of Altima collapsed in December 1995.
On her way to the Oregon coast, her \'94-year-old Altima \'crashed into the side of the road on the highway.
Brannard, wearing a seat belt, said she recalled the huge pressure on her face and everything that turned black.
The airbag broke the nose of Brainard.
She was completely blind for a few days.
Brainerd, a single mother with two young children, is afraid to know how to make a living in addition to physical pain.
Although her condition improved over time, her left eye was still legally blind, her right eye was visually impaired, and she still had a severe headache.
In an interview, bourenard said that although her lawsuit has been resolved, \"it is a matter of public awareness for me. . . .
If I come here for a purpose and make a difference, I\'m kind of hoping to be able to do that.
\"I just hate that it\'s still out there,\" she said of the Altima airbag.
\"This is the part that makes me very angry.
\"On April 28, Ali Volo set out from his home at the church of Va falls, and the lights went out. Go to Washington.
The driver is a son of Warsome who is trying to change his car suddenly when his Altima hits an obstacle.
Since then, the airbag has expanded and Warsome has been living in the dark.
On June, his lawyer filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Washington, accusing Nissan of \"indifference\" to the risks posed by airbags \".
\"There are no other vehicles that blind so many passengers because of the deployment of airbags,\" the lawsuit said . \".
Instead of recalling the vehicles, Nissan tried to hide the danger, \"hoping that the vehicles would fall off the road over time and the Blind of innocent victims would disappear silently, the complaint said.
\"Nissan\'s plan to deal with these events is to resolve every claim filed against it.
\"In response to the lawsuit, Nissan denied wrongdoing and said it was not responsible for the injury.
Abdirizak kulmi, a son of Warsome, says his father is a very active person and he likes to meet regularly with other Somalis in a local cafe.
Kurmi said he had polio as a child and he recalled how he relied on his father\'s help to stabilize him when he walked.
Now, he says, Warsome is closed.
About the House.
Kurmi remembered the day when his father\'s surgery failed.
He tried to restore his eyesight.
Warsome asked him if he would meet again.
\"But the doctor said,\" there is no hope, \"Kumi recalled. \"My father . . .
\"I am crying, I am crying . \"
\"I tried to calm my father down.
I told my dad I was disabled too. \"*(
Start text of the infobox)Air-
A bag injury survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on car manufacturers found 75 reports of eye or facial injuries to passengers
Nissan Altimas produced side airbags in 1994 and early 1995, compared to 57 of the other 15 models.
Report eye or facial injuries for every 100,000 cars sold (model years)Nissan Altima (1994-95)--30.
17 Subaru Heritage (1995-96)--7. 54Mazda 626 (1994)--6.
Toyota Corolla 30 (1994)--2.
Mitsubishi Eclipse 71 (1995-98)--2. 08BMW 3-Series (1994-98)--0.
All mean except Altima-1.
48 * Nissan launches new air-
The design of 1995 models in the middle of the year.