Since 2008, numerous automobile manufacturers have issued waves of recalls related to air bags manufactured by Japanese firm Takata.
The air bags at issue could endanger you or your family members.
The recalls are designed to fix similar air bag defects in nearly 30 million vehicles in the United States alone. The near-decade-long succession of recalls and large number of affected vehicles complicate the recall issue, and consumers are understandably concerned.
The issue has drawn such attention that Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts went so far as to call each Takata air bag “a ticking time bomb.”
Drivers and passengers are at risk in certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors vehicles. In the event of a crash, the Takata air bags can explode, propelling metal fragments at both passengers and drivers. As a result, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has urged owners to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective air bags.
This defect has already been linked to at least five deaths and numerous injuries. Due to the widespread nature of the recall, consumers are encountering many delays in correcting the defect. In fact, of the many vehicles originally fitted with faulty air bags few have been repaired so far.
THE DEFECT, THE DANGERS AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Takata is the world’s second-largest air bag maker, with 22% of the market. Honda vehicles make up nearly 5 million of the affected vehicles. One Honda executive, Rick Schostek, recently admitted to Nevada Senator Dean Heller that there are risks when driving any recalled vehicle, inferring that Honda does not believe a vehicle that hasn’t had the air bags replaced is a safe vehicle to drive.
During an accident, the inflator inside the air bags can explode, spraying metal shards at vehicle occupants. The root cause of this fracture remains unknown; however, many speculate that the chemical propellant in the heart of the air bags deteriorates due to moisture, production flaws or the passage of time – creating an unstable mix that explodes with more force than intended. Others believe that the problems result from rust or other deterioration of the inflator itself. While the exact cause of the problem seems to remain unknown, reports indicate Takata has known of the problems for nearly a decade. Both Takata and U.S. automakers have failed the consumer public by inadequately warning of the risks associated with the faulty air bags.
As recently as October 2014, a 51-year-old woman from Orlando died after her 2001 Honda Accord collided with another vehicle. Her injuries were so severe – resembling stab wounds — that the local sheriff’s office originally investigated the case as a homicide. The Florida Highway Patrol and NHTSA later examined the air bag and determined that the inflator had ruptured, causing the release of metal fragments that struck her in the face, neck and upper chest.
Even now, nearly a decade after the discovery of this defect, consumers are still being hurt.
If you or a loved one has been hurt due to an airbag mishap, you might be entitled to some much needed money. Please fill out the form below and we’ll work hard to figure out if you have a case.
You won’t pay a dime until we win.
Enter your VIN (Link to: http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Owners/vin-lookup-sites) to see if your vehicle is part of the Takata recall.