August 25th, 2009|
Consumers who buy used cars should be aware that Enterprise Rent-A-Car bought and then later resold Chevrolet Impalas and Cobalts without side impact airbags. Side curtain airbags are standard on these vehicles, but in an effort to cut costs, Enterprise ordered these vehicles without side airbags. According to Safety Research & Strategies General Motors has allowed fleet buyers, including the largest buyer, Enterprise Rent-A-Car to remove the standard side curtain airbags from these two popular models of vehicles. They also reported that “despite the importance of side airbags as a safety feature, Safety Research & Strategies investigation has found that Enterprise Rent-A-Car and other fleet purchasers regularly took advantage of GM’s option to delete the standard side airbags in a significant number of 2006, 2007 and 2008 Chevrolet Impalas as well as 2008 and 2009 Chevrolet Cobat vehicles. These vehicles were then resold by Enterprise and by GM dealers deceptively by not disclosing the lack of side-curtain airbags.
According to Consumer Reports, “‘tests show that head-protecting side air bags are especially important in sedans, which are vulnerable in side crashes with SUVs or pickups,’ our auto editors wrote in CR’s Dream Car. ‘We think that side air bags, which primarily protect the torso, and side-curtain air bags, which protect the head, should be standard in all vehicles.’” You can go to www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/safety-recalls/carcrashtest/crashtestvideo.htm to see crash test videos to see how your automobile performed in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests.
Side impacts are the second most frequent type of automobile accidents often resulting in serious injuries. According to Safety Research & Stretegies, in 2007, nearly 4,000 vehicles were involved in a fatal side-impact crash. Many safety experts feel side airbags are a necessary safety feature. The vehicles manufactured and resold by Enterprise without side airbags are now being driven by unsuspecting consumers, unaware that if they are involved in a side impact crash they are not protected. If you have been injured in a side impact collision involving a Chevrolet Impala or Cobalt, contact an accident injury attorney at Nurenberg Paris for advice.