The Takata Air Bag Recall
The massive recall of Takata Air Bags has made headlines all over the world. The latest information indicates that approximately 7.8 million vehicles have been recalled by 10 different automakers due to the risks of the front seat air bags deploying and spraying metal shards at the occupants of the automobile.
What Vehicles are Affected?
Takata manufactures air bags for 22% of the automobile industry. Thus, the air bag recall is expansive. The recall includes certain models of vehicles produced between 2002 and 2008 from the following manufacturers:
- General Motors
What Should You Do?
To determine if your automobile is affected you can go to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website and view the list of makes and models at the following address, http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/Vehicle-owners-with-defective-airbags-urged-to-take-immediate-action. Additionally, you can find out more specific information on your car by entering the VIN (vehicle identification number) into the NHTSA database https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/. This database will provide you with ALL current recalls, including the Takata Air Bag Recall.
Due to the massive number of recalled vehicles, there is a real possibility that it may take months to get a replacement airbag for the affected vehicles. Because there is some evidence that the exploding air bags may be linked to high humidity, the regions with higher temperatures and humidity rates are often getting priority. This is causing great concern amongst car owners with recalled vehicles as they are driving potentially dangerous automobiles.
What are the Takata Air Bag Dangers?
In the event of an automobile accident and the airbag deploys, there is a risk of the air bag propelling metal shards throughout the vehicle. What causes the rupture of the air bag is speculative. Industry experts have suggested that the chemical propellant used in the Takata air bags deteriorates over time, possible due to humidity/moisture. The deterioration may create an explosive blast in the deployment of the air bag. Currently at least five deaths and over one hundred injuries have been associated with the faulty Takata air bags.
Was Takata Aware of the Air Bag Defect?
Automakers and their suppliers have an obligation to manufacture safe products for their consumers. If the automakers or their suppliers become aware of a defect, it is there obligation to immediately notify consumers and offer a fix for the defect. There are indications, including a New York Times report from November of 2014, that Takata executives knew of the possible dangers of its airbags for nearly a decade before the recall was announced. Additionally, there have been reports that Takata informed the major automakers of the possible air bag problems in 2007.
Are You Eligible to File a Claim?
Takata and the involved automobile makers are making efforts to address the air bag problems. In the meantime, many car owners have growing concerns and fears about the risks of driving their vehicles. The reports of Takata airbag recalls are increasing by the day, and concerns mount that there are a shortage of replacement airbags available. Allegations are being made that people who have been injured or killed driving the automobile models utilizing defective airbags have needlessly been put in harm’s way because Takata, and possibly the automakers, did not respond to the evidence of these defects when they were first discovered. These victims and their families deserve probing and thorough legal assistance. Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC is a law practice based in Louisville, Kentucky. Brett can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an auto accident involving a recalled Takata airbag. Please contact Brett by Email or call (502) 749-5700 for a free consultation.