Three automakers this week widened recalls of cars and trucks with defective Takata airbags that can explode and seriously injure people, and Congress has set a hearing next week on the safety issue. According to a report in The New York Times, the recalls that automakers Fiat Chrysler, Honda and BMW announced this week are part of an action started last week by Takata. These recalls have raised the number of vehicles affected to 53 million globally including 34 million right here in the United States.
Recent Takata Recall
Fiat Chrysler expanded its recalls of vehicles with Takata airbags to about 5.22 million worldwide, involving the 2003 to 2011 model years. About 4.5 million of those vehicles are in the United States. The automaker has also issued a statement that it no longer manufactures vehicles with Takata airbag inflators and those in its recalls are distinct from Takata inflators cited in fatalities involving other automakers.
Honda, the company that has been worst affected by the Takata fiasco, has widened its recall by 350,000 in the U.S. and 340,000 in Japan. Since 2008, the automaker has recalled 20 million vehicles worldwide with Takata airbag parts. BMW has also widened its U.S. recalls of models with Takata airbags to 420,661, from 140,696.
Consumers Still in Danger
Takata officials and federal safety regulators have said that airbag inflators exposed to humidity over time can explode with too much force sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment, seriously or even fatally injuring them. So far, six deaths have been linked to this serious auto defect. What is really disturbing is that no one has yet pinpointed the root of the problem, which means that even with the replacement parts, consumers cannot really have the peace of mind that their vehicles are safe.
If you suspect your vehicle is a part of the recall, please visit the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website at safercar.gov. If your car is included in the recall, please do not take it lightly. The safety of your family could depend on the actions you take. If you or a loved one has been injured by a recalled vehicle, please contact an experienced auto product liability attorney to explore your legal rights and options. You may be eligible to receive compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress.