On October 22, 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a consumer safety advisory urging vehicle owners with defective Takata airbags to take immediate action. Due to the potential dangers of Takata airbags in some vehicles, consumers who own named vehicles should stop driving them and seek repairs as soon as possible. The Takata airbag recall affects more than seven million vehicles.
The Cause of the Recall
The Takata airbag recall wasn’t issued a moment too soon, nor was it the first Takata recall issued by the NHTSA. The defective airbags named are at risk of shooting metal fragments at drivers and passengers in the event of a crash.
According to a September 2014 article published in The New York Times, two deaths and more than 30 injuries were contributed to by the defective Takata airbags in Honda vehicles alone, and a shocking 139 injuries caused by Takata airbags in other vehicles. In one tragic case, a woman’s neck and chest were pierced by shrapnel when her airbag exploded, causing her to bleed to death in front of her three children.
According to an article in Reuters, Takata attributed the defects in their airbags to mistakes during the manufacturing process, including chewing gum being dropped into an inflator. Other causes may include rust, incorrect steel tubes, and bad welds.
Vehicles Affected by the Recall
While more than 14 million vehicles have been recalled due to defective Takata airbags over the years, the October 2014 recall alone involved 7.8 million vehicles.
The NHTSA lists the recalled vehicles below.
- 627,615 BMW vehicles
- 371,309 Chrysler vehicles
- 58,669 Ford vehicles
- 5,051,364 Honda vehicles
- 64,872 Mazda vehicles
- 11,985 Mitsubishi vehicles
- 17,516 Subaru vehicles
- 877,000 Toyota vehicles
- An undetermined amount of General Motors vehicles
The full list of recalled car models that may contain defective Takata airbags is available on the NHTSA’s website.
Liability for Defective Airbags
For those who have been harmed by a defective airbag, understanding who is liable can be complicated. According to product liability law, the manufacturer of a product has a duty to make the product relatively free of defect. If a defective product hurts a consumer, its manufacturer may be held liable.
If liability in the manufacture of a defective product, such as the defective Takata airbags, can be proven, the victim may be able to recover compensation for their injuries.
Awarded damages may include the cost of medical expenses, the cost of lost wages, the cost of any property damage, and any emotional pain and suffering. In the case that a defective airbag caused the death of a driver or passenger, the victim’s family may be able to recover damages for funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and the deceased’s lost wages.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
Airbags are placed in cars for a very specific reason: to save a person’s life in the event of an accident. When an airbag does just the opposite, and causes unnecessary and avoidable harm to a passenger or driver, the airbag manufacturing company needs to be held liable. Without the help of a legal professional on your side, proving negligence and liability, and recovering compensation for damages can be difficult.
To aid you through the process of filing a product liability claim against Takata, and to help you understand your options as a person harmed by a Takata airbag, the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC, can assist you. If you have questions about your injuries and suffering caused by a Takata airbag, call our offices now at 215-642-2335.