Manufacturer Takata Admits to Defective Airbags in Millions of Vehicles
For months, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating the possibility that manufacturer Takata had produced and sold defective airbags in many different types of vehicles. Reports indicated that, upon deployment, numerous airbags made by the company had ruptured and exploded. Such an explosion caused metal pieces to fly out with significant velocity in the cabin of the vehicle, causing serious and even fatal injuries to motorists. Over time, these exploding airbags have been associated with over 100 injuries and at least six fatalities.
Though Takata issued a small-scale recall for airbags in certain geographical areas with particularly high humidity, NHTSA believed the risks were more widespread. In November of last year, NHTSA issued a warning to Takata to substantially increase the number of airbags addressed in the recall or face civil sanctions and possible legal action by the United States government. Takata continued to deny that the airbag issue was greater than the original recall even when some motor vehicle manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda recalled vehicles with Takata airbags installed.
Takata significantly expands recall
On May 19, 2015, the Japanese company admitted that the inflators included in the airbags were defective and expanded the recall to 34 million vehicles, which is more than double the vehicles that have previously been recalled in connection with the issue. Takata stated that the inflators deteriorate in effectiveness over time, which leads to the rupturing and explosions.
The exact makes and models of vehicles that will be affected by the recall have not all yet been determined and Takata stated that it is coordinating efforts with auto manufacturers to nail down the details of the recall. Once the details are announced, consumers are highly encouraged to check the NHTSA recall website to see if their vehicle is affected. Though it could take some time to fix all 34 million airbags, every driver should consult with automakers as soon as they realize their vehicle has been recalled to repair the problem as soon as possible and avoid injuries.
Recalls are an important tool to avoid injuries, especially when it comes to motor vehicles. If a company fails to issue a necessary recall in a timely fashion, it should be held liable for every injury and fatality that occurs as a result of the defective part. Takata will likely face numerous claims in the near future.
Consult with a products liability attorney in Boca Raton today if you have been injured
Anyone who believes that they have sustained injuries due to a defective airbag manufactured by Takata should contact an experienced lawyer in Boca Raton as soon as possible to discuss possible legal recovery. The airbag recall may end up resulting in numerous claims against the company and you always want to have a personal injury attorney on your side who understands how to handle this type of case. At the law firm of Lavalle Brown & Ronan, our skilled attorneys will be working to help victims of defective airbags, so please call today at 888-646-1315 for a free consultation.