Over the past decade, Takata Corporation, a major manufacturer of airbags, has come under fire for producing dangerous and potentially deadly airbags. At least 12 different automakers, most notably Honda, purchased defective airbags from Takata. In addition to Honda, other affected companies include BMW, Mazda, Toyota, GM, and Nissan.
So far, at least three people in the United States have been killed by these airbags because of a design flaw which permits metal “shrapnel” to be dispelled into the vehicle upon the airbag’s deployment. Over 100 injuries have been documented since the early 2000s.
It is believed that Takata was aware of this potentially fatal design flaw, but did not issue an official recall until 2008.
So far, over 4.74 million cars have been recalled in the United States alone, and government agencies are urging drivers to take action if their vehicle is on the recall list. The majority of recalls have been for older vehicles. This site may assist you in determining if your motor vehicle is involved in the recall.
A Deadly Design Flaw
Functional issues relative to these airbags are primarily caused by an inadequate propellant in the airbag’s “inflator” that activates during a collision. In certain environments, particularly those with high levels of humidity, moisture can accumulate inside the inflator and destabilize the propellant. This results in a condition where, during a collision, the airbag may deploy with too much force and potentially cause metallic debris to be released into the vehicle’s cabin.
If a defective Takata airbag (or any airbag) has caused you an injury during its deployment, or, if it failed to deploy when needed, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries and associated losses. The New Jersey defective airbag lawyers at Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari have decades of experience handling claims of this nature. Call us at (973) 635-5400 to speak with one of our auto product liability attorneys.