Takata Faulty Airbag Update: More Deaths, More Recalls

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

Takata’s airbag nightmare seems to be never-ending. Readers who follow The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog, are familiar with the now notorious Takata scandal which started on November 18, 2014. After an intensive investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that Takata airbags were defective and could explode when deployed during a car accident. More specifically, upon deployment of the airbags, defective inflator and propellant devices may shoot metal fragments into the vehicle occupants they’re supposed to protect. These exploding airbags have caused serious injuries and even deaths. So many recalls were issued due to these faulty airbags, that Takata of Japan saught bankruptcy protection and sold most of its assets to pay for the repairs.

While the scandal erupted in 2014, it is still causing problems in 2019, with Toyota issuing a recall of 1.7 million vehicles in North America on January 9, according to the Detroit Free Press. Toyota is urging the drivers of these recalled vehicles to get their front passenger airbags fixed immediately, to avoid airbag injuries in the event of a car crash. Toyota is scheduled to replace 10 million airbags starting this month. This report comes just after Ford recently recalled nearly 1 million vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags, on December 28, 2018.

The Detroit Free Press lists the Toyota and Ford vehicle models included in both recalls.

Toyota Faulty Airbag Recalls Ford and Lincoln Faulty Airbag Recalls
2010 through 2016 4Runner 2010 Ford Edge
2010 through 2013 Corolla and Matrix 2010 Lincoln MKX
2011 through 2014 Sienna 2010 through 2011 Ford Ranger
2010 through 2012 ES Lexus models including the 350 2010 through 2012 Lincoln MKZ
2010 through 2017 GX 460 2010 through 2011 Mercury Milan
2010 through 2015 IS 250C and 350C 2010 through 2014 Ford Mustang
2010 through 2013 250 and 350
2010 through 2015 Scion XB
2010 through 2014 IS-F

NHTSA’s December 2018 report, Update on the State of the Takata Airbag Recalls, mentions that 15 people have been killed in the U.S. and hundreds have been injured worldwide due to Takata’s faulty airbags. According to the report, “more exposure over more time to high heat and humidity further degrades the Takata inflators phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate compound, making it more porous, more volatile and more prone to transform from a life-saving device to a life-threatening one.” The report also mentions that one-third of the recalled inflators still have not been replaced! Also, as of October 2018, approximately 16.7 million recalled Takata airbag inflators remain unrepaired and close to 10 million more inflators will be added to the recalls in January of this year.

Drivers can enter their vehicle’s VIN number in the Safety Issues and Recalls lookup tool on the NHTSA’s website to find out if their vehicle, “needs to be repaired as part of a recall.” It’s recommended that vehicle owners regularly check to see if there are any recalls out on their cars to avoid any accident injuries that result from not making these repairs.


Drivers of recalled vehicles are encouraged to have their automobiles serviced by certified professionals, in order to prevent more serious injuries and deaths resulting from the Takata airbag scandal. Faulty airbag deaths can occur if defective inflator and propellant devices shoot metal fragments into a vehicle’s occupants upon deflating during a car crash. The defective airbags may also deploy randomly and not just during car accidents if the chemical compound inside deteriorates. Drivers can enroll in NHTSA’s recall notification email system to receive alerts regarding recalls affecting their vehicles. If you or someone you know was injured due to faulty airbags or any other recall defect, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC today at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

FTC Sued For Approving Used Cars With Recall Defects

Auto Recall Car Crash Lawyer

The old adage, "it's too good to be true" comes to mind in the light the news that used cars sale representatives have been approved by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to sell used cars as certified, despite some of them having safety defects. Some of those defects include vehicles or parts under recall that have yet to be fixed. However, used car salespeople can still sell the cars as 'safe' or as subjected to 'rigorous inspection' vehicles just as long as they post a notice prior to the purchase of the vehicle stating that it may be under recall notice and by providing the buyer with the information to discover if the vehicle is under recall. 

CBS News listed that the defects may include exploding faulty Takata air bags in addition to other defects that can cause serious to fatal injuries such as, defective ignition switches, problems with the power steering, and damaged brakes. The FTC came to the decision during a settlement with General Motors (GM) and 2 used car dealers.

Opponents Of Recall Defective Car Sales

Cash 4 Junk Cars Sign

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does not approve of the FTCs ruling. In fact, the FTC's agreement goes against NHTSA policy. The NHTSA's policy, which they unfortunately don't have the power to enforce, says that used cars must be inspected and fixed before being resold. 

Seconding the NHTSA's view on the issue, Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) said, “The FTCs reckless action will result in more people being killed and injured because of unsafe, defective used cars.” To back up their words with actions, Shahan’s organization is fighting along with a few Democratic senators, the Center for Auto Safety, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group against the FTC. “It’s a dangerous and irresponsible abuse of the commission’s authority,” Shahan continued. Now the FTC is facing a lawsuit from the 3 organizations on the grounds of consumer safety.  

The legislative director for the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, Deidre Cummings also said to NBC News that, "The Federal Trade Commission is supposed to crack down on false and misleading advertising, but instead they are encouraging it. They should have protected consumers, but chose to protect reckless car dealers.”

How Defective Car Sales Affect The Auto Industry 

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Many view the FTC's decision as a change in the auto buying industry. This may lead to car dealers altering their policies to reflect monetary benefits for themselves instead of safety measures for the consumers. In fact some changes have already been made. Ford has already modified their policies to include recall defects such as the Takata airbag. Ford Dealers can now sell vehicles with faulty parts as 'certified' as long as the word 'safe' is not utilized at anytime in the sale. Used Ford buyers will then sign an agreement noting that they are aware of the safety issue and agree to be contacted by the Ford dealer once the replacement parts arrive. 

In defense of their new policy, Sara Tatchio of Ford Communications stated that, “The safety of our customers is our top priority. Our dealers must complete all recalls when parts are available. In the extremely rare instance when parts are not available, our policy is that dealers must clearly disclose the situation including printing the open recall information and handing it to the prospective customer. As soon as parts are available, the dealer will then prioritize completing the open recall.”

How Consumers Can Protect Themselves From Recalls

They are few things consumers can do to safeguard themselves from buying a used vehicle that may have recall defects.

  • Look up a vehicle's Identification number (VIN) in the NHTSA’s recall lookup tool. The NHTSA’s system will show any outstanding recalls that have yet to be fixed on the vehicle.
  • Get a vehicle's history report on websites like CarFax to see if the car has been involved in any accidents, if any original parts have been replaced, and if it has been regularly and properly maintained. 
  • Before making a vehicle purchase, ask the salesperson about the history of the car and whether any defects or other safety problems have been made aware to them. 
  • Even if the vehicle list it has been subjected to "rigorous inspection" or as is labeled "safe," get it inspected anyway by a qualified mechanic before buying it. Try to find an auto shop that doesn't have ties to the dealership that the vehicle is being sold from. 

These tips are not 100% effective in every used car buying scenario but in general, they may ease the trepidation one may have in buying a used car. Hopefully, armed with the knowledge of past or present recalls and mechanic history, used car buyers can make an informed decision on what vehicle would serve their needs best while keeping them and others safe. After all, getting involved in a car accident due to a faulty or defective car part because you didn't due your due diligence in researching a used car before purchasing it, is an unfortunate way to harm yourself. 


Car recall lookup tools provided by government websites and agencies such as the NHTSA are one ideal way to make sure that car buyers are truly purchasing safe cars. It is unfortunate that the FTC would approve of the sale of cars with defective parts, thereby making buyers unable to trust the CPO seal that guarantees buyers that they are buying a recall-free vehicle. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident caused by a vehicle under recall, call 844.4MI.FIRM and speak to the experienced staff at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. We provide free consultations to discuss your legal options.

Ford Issues Three Recalls Including Over 45,000 Vehicles

This past week The Ford Motor Company announced that it would be recalling 48,300 vehicles. The Detroit News reported that these recalls included 2015-16 low-roof Ford Transit vans. The recall is due to an issue with the airbags in the side-curtain, an issue that could lead the bags to not fire in an accident. 2015-16 model-year Lincoln MKC and 2016 Ford Explorer SUVs were also recalled for an issue related to the heaters, with the potential to overheat and even cause a fire. In addition, F-650 and F-750 heavy-duty trucks were also recalled due to a parking brake issue, an issue that could allow the parking brake clips to break and render the parking brake somewhat useless.

Ford Car Crash Lawyer

Most of the recalls only affect cars in the United States but some were also sold in Canada. Ford is unaware of any injuries that have been caused or were related to these recalls, but they are committed to ensuring that none happen if they can help it. These issues will be fixed by licensed dealerships around the country, at no cost to the owners. The Ford Motor Company will begin notifying those who own the vehicles, as soon as possible, to ensure they are fixed in a timely manner.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Car recalls have been plentiful in the news lately. Between the nearly million automobiles recalled by Ford and Volkswagen, it is very likely that a reader of this blog may be facing a recall themselves. Typically, car owners are informed by mail if their vehicle has been recalled. Drivers can check to see if their car has been recalled at SafeCar.gov or at their car dealership. 

Keeping up with recall information is vital to road safety. By ensuring that vehicles are in top condition, drivers are preventing potential accidents and injuries to themselves and other drivers on the road.

If you or someone you know has been in an automobile accident involving a recall, call the Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of motor vehicle accidents, including car crashes, motorcycle collisions, and bus accidents. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.