Takata Expands Defective Air Bag Recall

Takata Expands Defective Air Bag Recall

Posted By The Maher Law Firm || 23-Jun-2015

Our product liability attorneys in Orlando report on more Takata defective air bag recalls.

After years of denying there was a problem, Takata recently changed course and declared that 34 million units of its air bags are defective.

With the announcement, Takata is now responsible for the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. Ten automakers are affected, including Honda, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Toyota.

Certain Takata air bags have a defect that causes them to deploy with too much force, causing metal shards to spray into the cabin of the affected vehicles. The flaw has already been linked to six deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide, according to U.S. regulators.

In a statement, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that investigators have not yet been able to identify a root cause of the problem.

They suspect that moisture is seeping into the defective air bag inflators, causing the chemical propellant inside to break down over extended periods of time and to ignite too quickly when a crash occurs. That is why replacement parts have first been sent to high-humidity regions of the U.S., particularly in states along the Gulf Coast such as Florida.

New Data from Takata Tests Shows Importance of Expanded Recall

Takata has also provided NHTSA with some results of its testing of more than 30,800 inflators pulled from recalled vehicles.

According to Automotive News, defect reports showed that 265 of Takata's air bag inflators have ruptured during ballistic tests conducted since September. Most of those ruptures occurred in high-humidity states and outlying U.S. territories. However, five occurred outside of that area in Oregon, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Illinois. Two of those vehicles were once registered in Florida and Texas.

Takata also reported knowledge of 84 incidents where ruptures occurred in vehicles on the road. Disturbingly, 15 of those events occurred in vehicles that were not a part of the existing recall, making the expanded recall a critical step in saving lives.

The company identified other possible factors that could contribute to the inflators' flaws, including vehicle design and "manufacturing variability," one defect report said.

What to Do If Your Car Has Takata Air Bags

In the coming weeks and months, automakers will scramble to determine which models are impacted by the sweeping recall and provide that information to the NHTSA and consumers. In the meantime, there are things you can do to stay informed about whether your car is included in the recall.

  • Use the NHTSA's VIN-number search tool to see any open recalls on your vehicle. Keep in mind that you will need to check periodically to see if your car is subject to the Takata recall. Due to the massive scope of the problem, it will take automakers time to identify every vehicle that could have the defective part.
  • Heed any recall notices that come to you by mail. You may also receive automated phone calls informing you that your vehicle is included in the recall.
  • Sign up to receive recall alerts from NHTSA. The agency will always be informed first, and it could take time for a notice to come to you by mail.
  • If you know that your car has been recalled, act on it. Contact your dealer for a replacement part right away. Supplies are very limited. It may take years for Takata to produce enough replacements. Even then, priority will likely be given to high-humidity states and older vehicles since engineers believe that moisture and age can trigger the defect.
  • Read the latest developments on the Takata recall on NHTSA's new Recalls Spotlight page.

Lawsuits against Takata and vehicle manufacturers are already underway in Florida. If you or a loved one was in a car accident, and you suspect a faulty Takata air bag contributed to your injuries, you should speak with a qualified products liability attorney at Maher Law Firm as soon as possible.

We believe that manufacturers of dangerous products should be held accountable when their negligence results in someone else's injuries or death. To speak with a lawyer, call or contact us online today.

Categories: Auto Recalls
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