U.S. auto safety regulators have ordered a major expansion of the Takata airbag recall, more than doubling the number of vehicles that have been recalled. The recall has been issued due to dangerous airbag inflators which have the ability to rupture and seriously injure, or worse, kill vehicle occupiers. According to a Crains Detroit news report, this action adds more pressure on the Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata, which is already scrambling to cope with the demand for replacement airbag inflators. Recently, an additional million Mercedes-Benz vehicles were added to the rising list of Takata airbag recalls.
Why Are Takata Airbags Exploding?
The airbag defect results from the chemical compound, ammonium nitrate, used by Takata as a propellant in its airbag inflators. The nitrate chemical is prone to break down over a period of time, creating an explosive and unstable compound. If the inflator casing erupts in a car crash, sharp metal debris from the airbag can be spewed throughout the passenger and driver’s side cabins. This has the possibility to become disastrous, with a potential outcome of serious injuries or even death.
With the time it’s taking Takata to fix millions of vehicles equipped with airbags, one has to assume that the affected vehicles will not be repaired for many years to come. The number of injuries and fatalities suffered will only continue to mount. Moreover, the problematic chemical in the inflators has not been replaced and not all vehicles containing this chemical in airbag inflators have been recalled. This could cause more problems and lead to additional recalls, worsening an already hopeless situation.
How Are Automakers Exposing Consumers to Danger?
Recently, Honda confirmed that there were two additional deaths over the last couple of months relating to these defective airbags. Both were in Malaysia and involved driver-side airbag ruptures. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has added 35 million to 40 million airbags that must be replaced to the recall on top of 29 million already covered by previous recall campaigns. The expanded recall will take place in five phases prioritized by risk from now through December 2019. The expanded recall includes passenger-side airbags that were not covered by prior recall campaigns. This airbag defect has been linked to 10 deaths in the U.S. and more than 100 injuries. The death toll is continuing to increase.
Contact a Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury due to a Takata Airbag defect, contact d’Oliveira & Associates. You may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. Our firm is working with experienced Takata Airbag lawyers, who are investigating these cases. They may be able to file a Takata Airbag lawsuit for you and they charge no fee unless you win an award or settlement. For a free (no obligation) case evaluation, call our toll free number at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online.