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.
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.