Modifying your vehicle by installing an aftermarket steering wheel can add a bit of personal flair and style to your driving experience. However, when changing the factory steering wheel, especially with an airbag, it is crucial to consider the legal risks and safety issues involved.

Removing or altering an airbag system improperly can make your vehicle illegal to operate on public roads and jeopardize your safety in the event of an accident. If you suspect your airbag was put in illegally, West Palm Beach product liability attorneys can help you seek justice.

Do aftermarket steering wheels have airbags?

Replacing your factory-installed steering wheel with an aftermarket model can be done legally in Florida, but essential steps must be taken to remain compliant with regulations. First, you need to purchase an aftermarket steering wheel specifically designed for your vehicle’s make, model, and model year and fully compatible with your existing airbag system.

The new wheel should be equipped with an airbag that meets all current federal safety standards – installing a wheel without an airbag will violate Florida laws. You should have a certified mechanic or experienced installation shop handle the installation and reprogramming of the airbag system computer to recognize and work with the new steering wheel properly.

How can a product liability lawyer help?

Getting hurt by a defective product can turn your life upside down. Medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering are a lot to deal with. Having an experienced product liability lawyer on your side can make a huge difference.

A good lawyer will dig deep into what went wrong – get the product, talk to experts, and interview anyone involved. They will determine who is responsible, whether the manufacturer, supplier, retailer or all of the above. More targets mean more chances to get the compensation you deserve.

Once the lawyer has built a solid case proving the defect caused your injury, they can file lawsuits and negotiate with the companies responsible for getting you money for all the costs, bills, income lost, pain caused, and others. Or, if a settlement cannot be reached, they will take it to court and fight to get you maximum damages in front of a judge and jury.

Can you install aftermarket airbags?

You can install aftermarket airbags using a professional. Here are some tips for gathering thorough evidence that a professional installed a defective or illegal airbag.

Get written documentation.

Request invoices, work orders, and any paperwork from the installation. Check for details on the exact airbag installed.

Identify the airbag.

Get the make, model, manufacturing codes, and other identifying details of the installed airbag. Research if it meets federal safety standards or if it has a recall.

Consult experts.

Hire an experienced auto mechanic to examine the installation and airbag. Their expertise can confirm if it is defective or does not comply with regulations.

Check diagnostic systems.

A mechanic can scan vehicle computer systems for diagnostic details related to the airbag system and installation.

Look for company patterns.

Research if the company has a history of using counterfeit, defective, or recalled airbag parts. This can indicate a systemic issue.

Document the problems.

Thoroughly document any issues with the airbag system following installation, such as warning lights, improper deployment, or non-deployment.

Take photos.

Document the installed airbag with detailed photos pointing out any issues or non-compliant characteristics.

Extensive evidence from experts, documentation, diagnostic data, and your detailed records can convincingly demonstrate that an airbag system was improperly installed and should help hold the company accountable.

Contact a product liability lawyer in Florida today

If you get injured or realize you have an illegal or defective airbag in your vehicle, dealing with the situation alone can be overwhelming. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath are eager to help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today to start with a free consultation.

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