Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler June 11, 2015

The airbag recall of around 17 million cars, SUVs and pickups has led to lower prices for some vehicles, including those manufactured by Honda, GMC and Ford, reports a new study.

Auto business research firm iSeeCars.com analyzed nearly 20 million used vehicles after the recall of defective Takata airbags. Some of the vehicles had been part of the airbag recall, and others had not.

The analysis showed that, over a period of time, prices decreased for some models affected by the recall by as much as 3½ times more than models which weren’t affected.

It’s not indicated if the vehicles which were part of the recall were identifiable as having had airbag replacements — or not — when they were sold as used vehicles. But it can be construed that even the chance that they contained defective airbags may have deterred some sales by wary buyers who had fears of a car accident injury from an airbag.

In the study, vehicle prices were compared between pre-recall months of October of 2013 through February of 2014 and post-recall months of October of 2014 through February of 2015.

The comparison found a 3½ times greater price decrease in Mazda RX-8 vehicles from model years 2004-2008 — which were part of the recall — compared to similar models which had not been part of the recall.

The Mazda’s decrease differential amounted to around $763 more than the price drops over time for similar vehicles which were not part of the Takata recall.

Significantly Lower Prices

Other used vehicles which had significantly lower prices included the Dodge Dakota pickup truck from model years 2005-2008. Its price reduction for the period being studied was 1⅘ times more than for comparable pickups which were not part of the Takata airbag recall.

Another pickup truck which had a price drop attributable to the recall was the Toyota Tundra from model years 2003-2005. Its price reduction was 1½ times more than that of comparable pickups that were not recalled.

Besides the Mazda RX-8, other cars affected by price drops included the BMW 3 Series of convertibles and coupes from model years 2000-2006.

Between the two time periods of the study, BMW 3 Series vehicles dropped in price by 13.4%.

Used Infiniti FX35/45 vehicles from the 2003-2005 model years lowered in price 2⅗ times more than comparable vehicles between the studied periods, amounting to a $1,131 price decrease.

Takata airbag recalls have been made by 10 different U.S. automakers — but not by the Japanese airbag manufacturer itself — since it was determined that defective front-seat airbags could inflate with too much force when triggered by an impact. Such explosive force could send shrapnel hurling through the interior of a vehicle, injuring or killing occupants.

Defective Takata Airbags

Defective Takata airbags have been found on both the driver’s side and passenger’s side of vehicles’ front seats. They were placed in various vehicles between the model years of 2002 and 2008.

At first it was believed the defect was due expressly to higher humidity of certain areas. Such humidity could cause the airbags’ propellant to deteriorate, thus creating more internal pressure in the inflator, which could make its housing rupture in a crash. Such rupturing could send fragments of metal through the vehicle.

But since many vehicles travel from state to state, initial recalls aimed at high-humidity states such as Texas, Louisiana and Florida along the Gulf of Mexico coast were expanded to include all vehicles, regardless of their point of purchase.

At least five deaths and over 100 injuries have been connected to defective Takata airbags, whose metal shards have been known to puncture the neck and face of drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is active in supporting the airbag recall. But federal authorities also are quick to point out — as has the U.S. Department of Transportation — that an estimated 37,000 lives were saved by frontal airbags in the 25-year period from 1987-2012.

Again, the mere suspicion of a defective airbag may be enough to dissuade some potential buyers from purchasing such vehicles, and the decreased demand may have contributed to greater price drops compared to similar vehicles which were not part of the recall.

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I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.read more
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