First, it was the Takata company that was facing numerous lawsuits and fines regarding their faulty airbags. The airbags relied on a chemical called ammonium nitrate to trigger inflation. This chemical could deteriorate over time, causing a more powerful explosion upon deploying the airbags. These explosions sent debris flying through the interiors of affected vehicles, claiming at least 22 lives and causing hundreds of injuries. Now, a lawsuit contends that automakers were aware of the faulty airbags long before the recall. Auto News reports on the story.
Vehicle owners are citing internal documents in a lawsuit claiming that Volkswagen AG, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Daimler AG and General Motors were aware of the problems with Takata airbags. The suit claims that the automakers should have moved more quickly in regards to recalls.
The amended class-action lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court in Miami and claim that the auto manufacturers knowingly misrepresented their vehicles as safe despite issues with the airbags.
A spokesperson for GM stated that there were no ruptures involving GM inflators. They plan to vigorously defend themselves in the lawsuit.
Daimler, too, said that the accusations regarding previous knowledge of the problem with the airbags were “unfounded.”
Volkswagen and Chrysler Fiat declined to comment.
Other automakers, such as Honda, have already settled litigation to the tune of a total of $1.2 billion. Just last September, Honda agreed to a $605 million-dollar settlement. Toyota, Subaru, BMW, Nissan, and Mazda have all also settled related lawsuits.
A similar lawsuit against Ford Motor Company is pending.
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