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Florida mom Destiny Byassee dies when airbags ‘detonated like a grenade’

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A young Florida mother died last year when her car’s fake airbag “detonated like a grenade,” according to a lawsuit.

Destiny Byassee’s used 2020 Chevy Malibu went through several scammers before its fake emergency airbags deployed in a head-on collision in June, causing an explosion that “shot metal and plastic shrapnel throughout” the car, her claim alleges. family.

“Several fragments from the explosion struck Ms. Byassee in the face, head and neck, ultimately killing her,” states the complaint, obtained by Law & Crime.

Destiny Byassee died last year when her car’s fake airbag “detonated like a grenade.” Destination Byassee /Facebook

The 22-year-old “was a mother of two young children and had her whole life ahead of her,” attorney John Morgan, who also represents the family, said in a news release.

According to the lawsuit, Byassee purchased the condemned sedan from DriveTime, a national used car company, without being provided a complete history of the car.

The former Enterprise Rent-A-Car car was involved in a devastating accident in September 2022 that caused damage that “was so significant that the vehicle should have been classified as a total loss, issued a salvage title, and removed from service,” the lawsuit says. alleges.

Instead of scrapping the vehicle, Enterprise allegedly sold it to DriveTime through Manheim Auctions, Inc., which bills itself as the largest wholesale automobile auction company in the world.

It was then repaired at Jumbo Automotive in Hollywood, Florida, the complaint continues, stating that the shop’s owner, Haim Levy, “purchased counterfeit and non-conforming airbag components” from a Chinese company to replace the Chevrolet factory airbag.” and proceeded to install these components into the Chevy Malibu theme.”

Fake emergency airbags deployed in a head-on collision in June, causing an explosion that “shot metal and plastic shrapnel throughout” the car, his family alleges. Morgan & Morgan Law Firm

Not only were the dangerous fake bags used, but Levy allegedly repaired the deployed seat belt pretensioner (the part of a complete system that tightens the belt during a crash) incorrectly, but in a clever way that made it appear that it worked correctly.

Byassee “had no idea that the vehicle had been improperly and illegally repaired,” his family said.

According to the lawsuit, both the counterfeit airbag and the defective seat belt pretensioner “received a signal to deploy” during the June 2023 collision.

“However, because the subject Chevy Malibu’s driver’s side seat belt pretensioner was inoperative, the pretensioner did not deploy as originally designed,” the lawsuit states. “Worse still, because the driver’s side airbag system of the Chevy Malibu in question included counterfeit and non-compliant components, the airbag detonated like a grenade and shot metal and plastic shrapnel throughout the vehicle’s cabin. “.

The filing clearly stated that photos showed the “horrific event,” including one of the “shattered and blood-soaked front driver’s side airbag.”

Instead of scrapping the vehicle, Enterprise allegedly sold it to DriveTime through Manheim Auctions, Inc., which bills itself as the largest wholesale automobile auction company in the world. Christopher Sadowski

Cathy King, Byassee’s grandmother, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the young woman’s 6- and 4-year-old children, as well as her husband and mother.

Byassee “believed he was purchasing a safe and reliable vehicle, but our lawsuit alleges that multiple car companies worked to circumvent the system by repairing what should have been a totaled vehicle, all just to make money,” Morgan said in the statement.

“For this reason, Mrs. Byassee lost her life and her children will grow up without their mother.”

Byassee “had no idea that the vehicle had been improperly and illegally repaired,” his family said. Destination Byassee /Facebook

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial on 14 separate counts against the various defendants, including strict liability, negligence and deceptive trade practices.

Neither Enterprise, Manheim, DriveTime nor Jumbo Automotive immediately responded to the Post’s request for comment.




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