Takata Airbag Recall

Takata Corporation, a Japanese airbag manufacturer, is believed to have sold bad airbags to at least 11 different automakers dating as far as 2001.  The airbags can rupture and propel bits of metal at drivers and front-seat passengers.  The first reported airbag shrapnel deployment occurred in 2004.  Despite this airbag defect knowledge, Takata did not issue a recall until 2008.

Ways in which Takata airbags can become deadly:

  • In humid climates, moisture can enter the airbag inflator and destabilize the chemicals that make the airbag deploy
  • An unstable propellant can explode even in a minor accident or when a driver even hits a pothole, where the force of impact is low and deployment is unexpected
  • Airbags inflating too forcefully

Many people have been injured, blinded, or killed when the airbags sprayed metal or plastic shrapnel. In October 2014, the government added 4.74 million U.S.-market vehicles sold by Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan and General Motors to the Takata airbag recall list. As of May 20, 2015, more than 30 million vehicles from 11 automotive manufacturers have been recalled for the defective airbags. You can see the full list of recalled cars here.

The Takata airbag defect has been linked to at least 6 deaths and more than 120 injuries, beginning as long ago as 2001.

American Takata recalls have focused on cars sold or registered in states and territories with high humidity and temperatures; however, deaths linked to exploding airbags have occurred in non-humid states as well. And of course, it is likely that thousands of affected vehicles been driven away from states were recalls were issued.

How the Takata defective airbag recall catastrophe came about:

  • Takata developed a new type of airbag in an effort to make airbags more compact and to reduce toxic fumes. Explosives commonly used in fertilizer inflate these new airbags, which are encased in a metal canister.
  • In 2004, the first documented Takata airbag explosion occurred in a Honda Accord in Alabama, shooting out metal fragments and injuring the car’s driver.
  • After more airbag explosions were reported to Honda, it began confidentially settling claims with people injured by the airbags.
  • Honda issued a safety recall in late 2008, but for only a small portion of its vehicles equipped with these defective airbags.
  • Only after even more Takata airbag ruptures, some deadly, did Honda recall 510,000 more vehicles. But that was only the beginning. Each year since the first small recall in 2008, Honda has increased its recalled vehicles both in number and in model.
  • Ultimately, over 6 million cars produced by nine automakers were then recalled across the car manufacturer spectrum from BMW to Ford.

 

Contact Perdue & Kidd Automotive Defect Lawyers 

The experienced product liability lawyers of Perdue & Kidd is now handling Takata airbag lawsuits, and is offering free legal consultations to anyone affected by a defective airbag manufactured by Takata. To learn more about the legal options available to you, please contact us today.

 

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