After months of hearings in front of the Senate and the NHTSA, and after years of denying responsibility, Takata Airgbags announced a plan to expand its airbag recall to include roughly 34 million cars and trucks in the United States. Takata airbags is a Japanese manufacturer of airbags for automobiles and perhaps the largest component part manufacturer in the World. Thus far Takata has determined the airbags it provided to at least 10 global automakers, including Honda, Nissan, Chrysler, and BMW are potentially defective. The manufacturer that has seen the greatest number of affected vehicles is Honda, which has had a long working relationship with Takata that now stands in jeopardy.
The airbags Takata manufactured have been shown to burst and explode their housings violently when triggered in an accident, sending metal shards throughout the passenger area of the vehicle. To date, this shrapnel has caused over 100 injuries and 6 deaths in the U.S. alone. In response to added pressure from Congress and the NHTSA, Takata has expanded its recall and has acknowledged responsibility for the dangerous defect in many of its airbags.
As Senator Nelson (D, FL) pointed out in his presentation before the Senate last year, Takata airbags have been known to degrade and become dangerous under hot and humid conditions. As Floridians, we’re well aware that our environment is definitely just going to get hotter and more humid over the next several months, so the potential for the propellant devices in Takata airbags is much greater here in Florida than perhaps anywhere else in the nation. The defective airbags allow moisture to seep into the propellant material in the airbag, which, when combined with high temperatures, can lead to a degradation of the propellant, converting it into a dangerous explosive device.
It’s important to check the NHTSA’s website to determine if your car is effected by the recall notice, and it’s important to get your car into the local dealership as quickly as possible once you know if the recall effects your car. The minor inconvenience of replacing the airbag is well worth preventing injuries caused by the potentially deadly defect in Takata’s airbags.
To find out if your car may be involved in the recall, go to: https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/
The Ruth Law Team is currently investigating injury claims involving defective airbags.