The Takata airbag scandal began in about 2000, when documents indicate that the company became aware that some of the airbag inflators were not functioning properly. It wasn’t until 2008 that the recalls began, starting with Honda, the auto manufacturer who has been primarily affected by the 23 worldwide deaths and hundreds of injuries caused by the defective airbags. Now car owners are claiming in a class-action lawsuit that automakers were aware of the possibility of defective airbags long before the recalls began. Business Insider reports.
Class-action complaints filed in the U.S. District Court of Miami have been amended to allege that four automakers were aware of the defective airbags and misrepresented their vehicles as safe.
General Motors, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler, and Daimler auto manufacturers are those affected by the amended complaints. According to attorneys for the plaintiffs, internal documents indicate they were aware of the defective airbags and could have moved faster in issuing recalls.
The defective airbags have been linked to 23 deaths and hundreds of injuries worldwide. The airbags can explode with too much force, which sends shrapnel flying through the interior of vehicles.
The scandal has led the company Takata to file for bankruptcy and caused the recall of 125 million vehicles worldwide. 60 million of those vehicles are located in the United States.
As part of the same settlement in Florida, other automakers have settled economic loss cases totaling $1.2 billion. $605 million of those settlements belonged to Honda Motor Company.
A suit against Ford Motor Company is still pending.
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