TAKATA AIRBAGS – REVISITED

We previously discussed on January 19, 2015, the problem with Takata airbags which has been known since 2000. These defective airbag inflators which can explode with too much force shooting metal and plastic shrapnel at the vehicle occupants causing personal injuries.

In January, 2015, Takata refused to issue a nationwide recall. Manufacturers such as Honda issued 5 million recalls for faulty airbags. Other manufacturers of vehicles have issued recalls for the airbags for a total of more than 16 million cars have been recalled worldwide. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continued since January, 2015 to pursue the process to force a national recall by Takata and in an article in The USA Today – The Journal News on May 20, 2015 entitled “Takata Airbags Recall Expands”. Finally Takata agreed to double the scope of its recall making the recall one of the largest in U.S. history according to The Transportation Department. Takata agreed to a consent order that increases the number of airbags under recall in the USA to 33.8 million vehicles. Takata gave in to the massive recall that it had previously resisted.

The action expands regional recalls adding 16 million more vehicles added to the original 17 million recall in southern states, where humidity was thought to have been a factor in the deadly airbag deployments. The NHTSA stated “this is the largest recall known. It dwarfs the 2.6 million vehicles recalled by G.M. to replace deadly ignition switches. They expect the recall to take years to complete”. Before Takata agreed to the national recall, 10 automakers had announced individual recalls for airbags in the United States.

Six deaths are blamed on faulty Takata airbags. 5 in the U.S. and 1 in Malaysia, all involved Hondas. The U.S. Transportation Department is taking a proactive steps to ensure that the defective inflators are replaced with safe ones. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx said “we will not stop our work until every airbag is replaced”.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a faulty airbag, call the law firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC at (914) 288-0800.