Millions of cars with faulty airbags are still on U.S. roadways despite reports of accidents resulting in 37 deaths and an unprecedented recall that covers 42 million vehicles worldwide. Controversial airbag manufacturer Takata has been linked to many accidents and injuries. Some Takata airbag inflators have a chemical in them that could degrade when there is a high level of heat and humidity. According to a Fox Business report, at least 37 deaths so far are linked to these defective airbag inflators.
The airbags explode when activated, expelling shrapnel that could pierce and seriously injure or even kill vehicle occupants. Millions of vehicles are equipped with these faulty airbag inflators, including Honda, Toyota, Ford, General Motors, Tesla, and Mercedes-Benz.
Takata airbags are still installed in 14 million U.S. vehicles, and millions more around the world, Bloomberg News reported just this week. This is despite a years-long effort to recall and replace the airbags.
Deaths and Injuries
A number of heartbreaking stories of injuries and deaths from Takata airbags have been reported worldwide. Most recently, we’ve heard the story of Janett Perez, an American citizen who lived in Merida, Mexico. Perez was driving her used Honda Cr-V last December when another car backed into hers.
The airbag exploded with such force that it shot a piece of metal into her neck, killing her. Perez’s husband told Bloomberg that the couple had not received a single warning or notification that the car was under recall. In the United States, accidents involving deadly Takata airbags have killed 19 people, most recently in April when a Takata airbag killed a South Carolina driver in a 2002 Honda Accord.
While Honda claims its efforts to enforce the recall in the United States have been substantial, Bloomberg News reports that its outreach in Mexico has been less than satisfactory. Honda has fixed 72% of its recalled cars in Mexico compared to 89% in the United States. General Motors has reportedly fixed only 36% of vehicles with Takata airbags in Mexico. Other countries where defective Takata airbags have killed people include Australia, Brazil, and China. Globally, 37 people have been killed and about 450 injured due to Takata airbags.
Auto Product Liability Issues
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a dangerous or defective vehicle, you may be able to seek compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. An experienced auto product liability attorney can advise you regarding your legal rights and options.