The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a new investigation into 30 million vehicles covering two dozen automakers with potentially defective Takata airbag inflators. According to a report by Reuters, federal auto safety regulators opened an engineering analysis into about 30 million vehicles from the 2001 through 2019 model years which could be fitted with potentially deadly airbags. Reuters also reports that automakers were alerted to this investigation, which is not yet public.
This new probe involves vehicles assembled by Honda, Ford, Toyota, General Motors, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla, Ferrari, Mazda, Daimler AG, BMW, Chrysler, Porsche, Jaguar, and others. The vehicles under investigation include those that had the inflators installed when they were manufactured and some used in prior recall repairs.
What the New Investigation Entails
Over the last decade, more than 67 million Takata airbag inflators have been recalled in the United States and more than 100 million globally. This was the biggest recall in history. The defective airbag inflators could deploy explosively and fire shrapnel into vehicle compartments, posing the danger of serious or even fatal injuries. So far, 28 fatalities have been reported worldwide, including 19 in the United States, and 400 people have been injured.
The 30 million vehicles in this new probe have inflators with a “desiccant” or drying agent. According to the document, Reuters reported that NHTSA said there have been no reported ruptures of the vehicles on the roads with airbags that have the drying agent. NHTSA further stated that while it hasn’t identified an immediate safety risk, more work is needed to evaluate the future risk of non-recalled desiccated inflators. The agency also said that the investigation would require exhaustive information on Takata’s production processes and surveys of inflators in the field.
If You Have Been Injured
Takata airbag inflators have caused fatalities and severe and catastrophic injuries. Millions of vehicles are out on our roadways with these dangerous airbags, and those who drive them don’t even know it. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a faulty Takata airbag inflator, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the automaker and the manufacturer of the defective airbag.
If you have lost a loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering, and loss of love, care, and companionship. An experienced auto defect lawyer can advise you regarding your legal rights and options.