The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has rejected a petition filed by Ford Motor Company to delay recalling about 3 million vehicles that have potentially defective airbag inflators manufactured by Takata. According to a Reuters news report, Ford asked for the delay to conduct additional testing. However, NHTSA officials said they did not find Ford’s request to be “reasonable under the circumstances” or supported by testing or data it has collected.
Unprecedented, Massive Recall
Takata inflators have spurred an unprecedented recall involving more than 40 million vehicles. The faulty airbag inflators that could explode and send metal shrapnel flying into the vehicle compartment have been linked to at least 18 deaths and 180 injuries around the world. Takata filed for bankruptcy protection in June. NHTSA has also received a similar petition seeking to delay recalls covering 6,000 vehicles, which it has also denied. The public will have a chance to comment on NHTSA’s decision until Dec. 18.
Ford has not said if it intends to challenge NHTSA’s decision. The vehicles in question include the 2007-11 Ford Ranger, 2006-12 Fusion and Lincoln MKZ, 2006-11 Mercury Milan, and 2007-10 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX. A report issued separately by an independent monitor of the Takata recalls said more than 10 million U.S. vehicles and 18.5 million faulty Takata airbag inflators remain unrepaired in the largest ever auto recall. Takata has said it anticipates recalling 125 million vehicles worldwide by 2019.
Auto Product Liability Issues
There are millions of Takata vehicles out there that have still not been repaired. These vehicles pose significant risks to individuals who are driving in or riding in them. We know from several reports that that the shrapnel that is expelled from the defective airbag inflators have the potential to cause serious injuries consistent with stab wounds. Many have suffered permanent injuries including eye injuries that have left them disabled.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective Takata airbag, contact an experienced auto product liability attorney who will fight for your rights and hold the at-fault automaker and parts manufacturer accountable for their negligence. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, permanent injuries and pain and suffering.