Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata Corporation has filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and Japan after an unprecedented worldwide recall of millions of vehicles equipped with dangerous and defective airbags that can explode and cause major injuries and fatalities. According to a Reuter’s news report, now, people injured by these faulty airbags have been given an official role in the bankruptcy process in the U.S. This will allow them to challenge the company’s restructuring plans, which has been criticized as being protective of automakers. Many people have been injured by faulty Takata airbags, and if you are one of them, you may have a Takata airbag lawsuit.
Why Are They Filing For Bankruptcy?
Takata filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it faces billions of dollars in liabilities from recalls and lawsuits stemming from its airbags. The inflator compound used in the airbags could deteriorate with age causing the devices to explode with too much force. This in turn causes shrapnel to be expelled into the passenger compartment. Severe and fatal injuries have been reported as a result. The airbags have been linked to 16 deaths mostly in the United States, and hundreds of injuries.
One of those victims appointed to the personal injury committee allegedly sustained a serious neck laceration and nerve damage last year in an accident involving a Takata airbag. Takata is finalizing a $1.6 billion sale of most of its business to Michigan-based Key Safety Systems. The company has allocated $125 million for injury claims relating to the faulty airbags, but lawyers for injured victims said it that amount might not be enough because millions of airbags still haven’t been recalled.
How Come So Many Airbags Have Missed The Recall?
A large portion of the vehicles with malfunctioning airbags in them were manufactured over 15 years ago. In that time span, any given vehicle can change owners countless times. Some cars with these faulty airbags may have been sold to another owner or dealership, or maybe one was wrecked and the purchased by a car savvy person to rebuild or repair. Whatever the case may be, with vehicles switching owners so frequently, it is near impossible for manufacturers to track down each and every car. There were reports of vehicle owners who purchased recalled vehicles in auctions and had no way of knowing that they were driving with an airbag inflator that could explode and seriously injure them. Federal and state safety experts say that repair the faulty airbags is the only way to ensure driver safety, which is why officials are trying to raise awareness about these Takata airbags as to put those who have purchased a used car on notice about this potential danger.
How Do I Tell If My Car Has Recalled Airbags?
Recalls are issued on vehicles and various parts all the time. Whether you believe you may have a faulty Takata airbag in your car or some other issue, we strongly urge you to check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website at https://www.nhtsa.gov/. Next, locate your car’s vehicle identification number (“VIN”) and they will inform you of any recalls related to your specific make and model. If your car is in fact on a recall list, we advise you do not ignore this. The best solution is to go to your local dealership immediately as they will know how to proceed with your specific issue.
Call d’Oliveira & Associates Today!
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as the result of a Takata airbag defect, please contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our personal injury law firm has been working with Takata airbag lawyers who are representing injured victims on this matter. Call us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online for a free (no obligation) case consulation.