The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) agency began to investigate Takata when a few consumers reported violent airbag explosions after involvement in a car accident. In the situations reported, airbags exploded and sent shrapnel, or metal pieces and debris, flying out toward the passenger seats of vehicles. As one can imagine, this is very dangerous and can cause serious injuries. So far there have been six deaths and more than 100 injuries stemming from the defective airbags.
More disturbing than the accidents is the fact that up to this point Takata has been uncooperative and has denied having product issues. Although the NHTSA has had suspicions about potential quality defects in Takata products for a few years already, the agency was unable to gather enough evidence in 2009 to continue with a case that was six months in the making. After years of government pressure, recent fines, and increasing automobile recalls of automobiles containing their products, Takata made a statement admitting that their airbags have defaults and that any automobile containing one will be recalled.
As of now Takata is unsure of what is causing the air bag explosions, but possible factors include an airbag or airbag component design flaw, leaks in the inflators, or the potentially harmful propellant used in the inflators. Going forward, Takata is looking into these possibilities to find the source of the air bag explosions. Furthermore, it is working with the automotive companies to identify the specific models of cars affected by the recall. Find more information about this news story on the New York Times website.
One in seven cars will be affected by the Takata airbag recall. It is important to know what next steps you should take:
- Go to the website set up by the NHTSA and look through the list of already-recalled vehicles. Enter your vehicle identification number, or VIN, on the website to see if your vehicle is part of the recall. The VIN is located on your registration or on a plate on the dashboard visible through the windshield of your car. If your vehicle is not listed, you should check back over the next few weeks for new vehicles that have been added to the list.
- If you find that your vehicle is part of the recall, you should contact your car dealership or one that has your model of car so that you may order a replacement air bag. If you have a discontinued car brand, contact the prospective automotive company. The airbags will be replaced with no cost to the owner.
- Wait patiently and take precautions. There are now 34 million replacement airbags on hand, and the first available ones will go to older cars and cars in humid climates, since both of these factors increase the risk of airbag explosions. The safest thing to do for the next few months is to continue to drive the car with the airbag safety mechanism turned on-disabling an airbag is more dangerous than driving with a defective one. Drive carefully and cautiously in order to decrease the risk of a car accident.
Although following these steps is important, no individual person can prevent an airbag explosion. If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a car accident involving an airbag explosion, regardless of if you suspect your airbag is part of the Takata recall, contact the Detroit lawyers at Goodman Acker P.C. to discuss your case and get the expert help you need. At Goodman Acker P.C., our attorneys specialize in helping victims injured in airbag explosions caused by a defect.
If you or your loved one has a question regarding airbag explosion injuries, call Goodman Acker P.C. today at (248) 286-8100. Our expert attorneys will be happy to help you and answer any questions that you may have for free and under no obligation. Furthermore, we represent our clients under a no-win, no-fee promise, which means no legal fees or costs until we win or settle your claim.