Scott Eastwood, son of actor and filmmaker Clint Eastwood, has opened up about his former girlfriend, Jewel Brangman, who was one of 11 people killed as a result of a defective Takata airbag. According to a news report in the Daily Mail, Eastwood talked to GQ Australia about the death of Brangman who died in 2014 after a fender bender that caused the airbag in her 2001 Honda Civic to explode.
The shrapnel from the airbag inflator severed Brangman’s spine and killed her. Brangman’s death and those of others prompted the biggest recall in U.S. automotive history. Brangman was a gymnastics coach and model. She was driving from San Diego to Los Angeles September 7, 2016 when she rear-ended a van in front of her, causing her airbag to explode. Automakers have had to recall 24 million vehicles due to the exploding airbags.
Vehicle Recalled Multiple Times
Brangman’s father filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Honda, Takata and the rental company of the vehicle she was driving at the time. The 2001 Honda that Brangman was driving was purchased by a rental car company after it had been issued a salvage title, which means it was deemed damaged or a total loss by an insurance company. The car was then rented to Brangman in August 2014. Four recall notices had been sent to registered owners of the vehicle since August 2009.
A Preventable Tragedy
Clearly, this is a death that could have been prevented. The previous owners of the vehicle apparently ignored several recall notices. The car was then deemed a “total loss” after which the rental company bought it and continued to rent it out to customers without making the necessary repairs. This is an outrage! We hope the Brangmans get the justice they deserve and that the automaker, the airbag manufacturer and the rental company are held accountable for their negligence. We also hope that a new law that prohibits rental companies from leasing unrepaired vehicles helps prevent such tragedies.
Unrepaired vehicles are still a major problem in the U.S. auto market. Whether you are in the market for a used vehicle or are about to rent a vehicle, it is important that you check if the vehicle has been recalled. You can do so by visiting the safercar.gov website and typing in the vehicle identification number or VIN. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective auto, contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who can give you more information about pursuing your legal rights.
(Image credit: Mediakit)