The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that Takata Corporation will declare 33.8 million vehicles defective because they are equipped with airbags that can explode and injure occupants with sharp pieces of metal.
At federal regulators’ insistence, the airbag manufacturer that supplied to various automakers, has acknowledged that a defect exists in its airbag inflators.
Takata has agreed to a national recall of the defective airbag inflators that were made with a propellant that can degrade over time and rupture. These defective airbags have been blamed for six deaths worldwide.
This action adds 17 million vehicles to the previous 16 million total, making it the most monumental recall in U.S. automotive history.
It captured the attention of Congress, which held hearings last year on the matter.
Highlights of the Takata Airbag Recall
So far, here are the highlights of the Takata recall and what vehicle owners need to know:
- Vehicle owners can go to NHTSA’s website to determine if their vehicles are part of the recall.
- Takata has been reluctant to cooperate with the government and it has proved costly for the company. In February, federal regulators began fining Takata $14,000 a day for failing to completely and properly answer questions about their failure to investigate explosions.
- Honda has been disproportionately affected by the recall, but other carmakers like GM and Toyota also have these airbags in their popular vehicle models.
- The recall has devastated Takata’s bottom line and the company’s president stepped down last year.
- In November U.S. Senators saw gruesome images of the injuries these defective Takata airbag inflators can inflict on vehicle occupants.
- So far six deaths have been linked to the faulty airbags, all in Honda vehicles.
Auto Product Liability Issues
If you or a loved one has been injured in as the result of a defective Takata airbag inflator, it is important that you have a proper understanding of your legal rights.
You may be eligible to receive compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
It would also be in your best interest to contact an experienced auto product liability attorney who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and ensure that the negligent product manufacturer is held liable.