Takata Airbag Lawsuit
Lawsuits are currently being filed for defective Takata airbags. If you are a loved one was injured by a Takata airbag that was recalled, it is important that you receive legal help immediately from a Takata Airbag lawyer.
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recalled Takata airbags in 14 different automakers vehicles. This includes the driver’s side or passenger’s side airbags. The airbags were mostly installed in cars from model years 2002 – 2015. Some of the airbags could deploy explosively, injuring or even killing the car occupants. As of September, 2015, recalled airbags now number more than 34 million vehicles in the United States with another 7 million worldwide.
What Makes The Recalled Airbags So Dangerous?
The airbags are inflated by a propellant that is encased in a canister (this is known as the inflator). If the propellant wafers break down, the result is that the propellant burns too rapidly, creating excessive pressure in the inflator body. When the device deploys in a crash, the defective airbag’s steel canister can crack and explode into pieces – potentially sending metal shards and chemicals into the vehicle and damaging the driver/passenger.
One of the most recent deaths linked to the airbags involved an accident in a Los Angeles parking lot in 2014. Hai Ming Xu was killed by an airbag that deployed explosively in his car. The police originally treated the case as a homicide due to extensive damage done to Mr. Xu. An autopsy revealed that the wounds were caused by the airbag and the extensive lacerations on Mr. Xu’s face came from “a metallic” portion of the airbag inflator that “hit the deceased on the face as it deployed”.
The lawsuits and studies have alleged multiple causes for the defective airbags including but not limited to:
– Poor quality control in manufacture
– Several years of exposure in high heat and humidity regions
– Design of the product itself
There have been significant damages directly linked to the Takata airbags. So far, there have been nine fatalities in the United States and more than 139 injuries and in some cases the incidents have resulted in metal shards penetrating the driver’s face and neck.
Injuries that can occur from Recalled Airbags:
– Broken Bones
How Do You Know if Your Car is Affected by the Recall?
You can verify whether your specific car is affected by the recall by putting in your VIN (vehicle identification number) into NHTSA’s online VIN-lookup tool (link to https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/). Your VIN can be found on the lower driver-side corner of the windshield as well as on your registration and insurance documents.
Currently, federal law does not require car dealers to tell prospective buyers about open recalls on used cars or whether defects have been repaired so it is important that consumers check to see if their car has the recalled airbag.
March 24, 2016: BMW has informed the NHTSA that they will be unable to meet its March 31 deadline to acquire sufficient supply of remedy parts for one of the Takata inflators.
February 12, 2016: NHTSA expands its list of impacted models. Thus far, 7,122,510 airbags have been repaired.
January 28, 2016: NHTSA reports its ninth US fatality caused by a rupture of a Takata air bag inflator and the tenth worldwide.
December 23, 2015: NHTSA announces an eighth U.S. fatality due to the questionable Takata airbag inflator, underscoring the need for consumers to have their cars repaired as soon as possible. Further, there have been changes to the official list of affected vehicles.
November 3, 2015: NHTSA imposes a record civil penalty of up to $200 million against Takata. (Of that, $70 million is a cash penalty, with an additional $130 million charge if Takata fails to meet its commitments.) Plus, the government agency requires Takata to phase out the manufacturer and sale of inflators that use the risky propellant and recall all Takata ammonium nitrate inflators currently on the road—unless the company can prove they are safe or can show it has determined why its inflators are prone to rupture.
October 9, 2015: Honda releases an update on the Takata airbag recall, stating its progress in reaching out to consumers and its recall repair completion rate.
June 19, 2015: NHTSA and Honda confirm that an 8th fatality was attributable to a Takata airbag rupture, which took place in Los Angeles in September of 2014. The car was identified as a rented 2001 Honda Civic. Honda said the car had been under recall since 2009 but that various owners, including the small rental company in Los Angeles, had failed to have the repairs made.
June 17, 2015: NHTSA VIN look-up tool is updated to include all affected models. Often, there can be a slight delay between announcements and when data is available.
June 16, 2015: Toyota expands years for recall on previously announced models, adding 1,365,000 additional vehicles.
June 15, 2015: Honda expands national recall on Honda Accord.
June 15, 2015: NHTSA and Honda confirm that Takata airbag rupture was implicated in a seventh death. The driver of a 2005 Honda Civic was fatally injured following a crash on April 5, in Louisiana.
June 4, 2015: Reuters reports that at least 400,000 replaced airbag inflators will need to be recalled and replaced again.
May 29, 2015: Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and General Motors added the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) of the impacted vehicles to their recall websites.
May 28, 2015: NHTSA and vehicle manufacturers revealed the additional models included in previous recall announcements.
May 19, 2015: DOT released a statement saying that Takata acknowledges airbag inflators it produced for certain vehicles were faulty. It expanded certain regional recalls to national ones, and included inflators fitted in certain Daimler Trucks in the recalled vehicles. In all, the recall was expanded to a staggering 33.8 million vehicles. That number includes the roughly 17 million vehicles previously recalled by affected automakers.
February 20, 2015: NHTSA fined Takata $14,000 per day for not cooperating fully with the agency’s investigation into the airbag problems.
January 18, 2015: The driver of a 2002 Honda Accord became the fifth person in the United States thought to have been killed by an exploding airbag inflator.
December 18, 2014: Ford issued a statement adding an additional 447,310 vehicles to the recall.
December 9, 2014: Honda issued a statement saying it will comply with NHTSA and expand its recall to a national level. This brings the number of affected Honda/Acura vehicles to 5.4 million.
November 18, 2014: NHTSA called for the recalls to be expanded to a national level.
November 7, 2014: New York Times published a report claiming Takata was aware of dangerous defects with its airbags years before the company filed paperwork with federal regulators.
If you or a loved one was injured by a recalled Takata airbag, it is important that you receive legal help immediately. Contact Gruber Law Offices today for a free case review. Call us now for help or fill out a free case evaluation below.