When people get in their cars they expect their seatbelts and airbags to protect them in an accident. When the seatbelts and airbags fail, even routine accidents can become disastrous. This catastrophic situation is precisely what millions of Americans are facing as they enter vehicles with defective airbags.
Over the last 18 months, auto companies have recalled more than 7 million vehicles that are suspected to have dangerous and defective Takata airbags installed. So far, at least eight deaths and more than 100 injuries have been attributed to Takata airbag failures.
Takata Corporation is a Japanese auto supplier that provides nearly 25% of the worlds airbag components. The company’s airbag inflators have a deadly defect where the inflation device can cause metal shrapnel to be released at a velocity that punctures the airbags and injures the face, neck, chest and torso of drivers and passengers in affected vehicles.
More than 14 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide due to Takata airbag defects. The number tops 7 million in the United States.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is advising all owners of vehicles with defective Takata airbags to replace them immediately.
The airbags are particularly dangerous for consumers who live and drive the cars in hot and humid regions. It is believed that the propellant in the airbags may be more likely to malfunction in these hotter regions located in the American South.
More than 14 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide due to Takata airbag defects…
The agency has stated that the exposure to high humidity and temperatures contributes to the likelihood that the airbag will rupture and send shrapnel into the bodies of the drivers and passengers. This does not mean, however, that drivers in cooler parts of the country are necessarily safe. All vehicles with defective Takata airbags presently pose a serious safety hazard.
While the lawsuits are looming, the NHTSA has also urged Takata to produce replacement airbag components at a much faster rate. The existing Takata airbags have defective parts that need to be replaced however, the sheer number of affected vehicles poses serious fulfillment problems for dealerships and auto manufacturers.
At least two lawsuits have been filed in U.S. courts arguing that the Takata Corporation and automakers failed to investigate the dangers in Takata airbags.
The lawsuits have been filed on behalf of all individuals who have been injured by defective airbags. According to the most recent reports, 4 people are alleged to have been fatally injured with more than 100 additional injuries.
As more and more people become aware of the injuries, these numbers are likely to grow. The lawsuits are seeking class action status so that they can represent the millions of Americans who have been affected by the defects.
Many consumers are worried that their cars have lost their resale value at an expedited rate and this is another aspect of the lawsuits.
A recent article in the New York Times carries serious allegations about what the company knew and when it knew it. Two former Takata employees have come forward to state that Takata knew the airbags were dangerous as far back as 2004. If that is true, then the information Takata has filed with the NHTSA stating that they discovered the airbag defects in 2009 would be wrong.
The former employees state that Takata tested 50 airbags retrieved from junkyards and was able to establish that the airbags were defective. However, the company did not share this data with the NHTSA and in fact, the former employees say they received instructions to delete all traces of the tests and the evidence from the company’s servers. If these allegations are true, Takata Corporation may face the biggest test of liability yet.
Arnold Law Firm Takata recall lawyers are currently helping owners who drive vehicles with defective Takata airbags evaluate their legal claims.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a website where consumers can use a VIN to identify whether a car has been recalled. Also, the website www.nhtsa.gov provides updated information about recall announcements.
Manufacturers are required by law to provide recall information on their websites. Consumers simply need their Vehicle Identification Numbers and the website will reveal all of the associated recalls. Consumers will also be receiving recall notices via U.S. Postal Service with extensive details about the recall process.
The NHTSA has set up a safety hotline for consumers to discuss their concerns and ask questions at 1-885-327-4236. Consumers can also subscribe to the NHTSA’s Recall Notification Email System. The NHTSA has urged motorists to act quickly and prudently when they receive recall notices.
The following list of recalled vehicles is current as of 11/4/2014. Be sure to check with your car manufacturer and the NHTSA for the most up-to-date recall information.
If you have been injured in an accident where the Takata airbag caused you additional harms or failed to deploy, you may have multiple legal claims. You may have an individual injury claim against the other driver and/or against the company that owned the other vehicle. You may also have class action lawsuit claims against your auto manufacturer and against Takata Corporation.
Depending on the circumstances of your injuries, you need a law firm with aggressive product safety lawyers who have the experience and capabilities to handle all aspects of your legal claims.
At Arnold Law Firm, our Sacramento recall and product safety lawyers have been successfully handling individual and class action lawsuits at the state and federal level for decades. Let us put our extensive experience to work for you.