In February of this year, there were new developments that were announced by officials regarding product safety allegations against airbag manufacturer Takata.
The first announcement in the case was what was causing the catastrophic malfunction of airbags made by Takata. According to investigators on the case, there were a number of factors. Those factors include of humidity, design and malfunctioning problems, and a chemical that is used in the deployment of the bags, ammonium nitrate. Ammonium nitrate is known for its volatility and its use in the manufacture of the airbags is especially concerning.
Officials said in a statement that the federal government is continuing to investigate Takata air bags and is considering raising the recall of 29 million airbags installed into vehicles to some 90 million vehicles.
The government said that the second development in the case was regarding the response on the part of Takata regarding concerns over potential defects in its product. The Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation in a report released in February condemned Takata for having manipulated the safety testing data and referred to Takata’s “broken safety culture.” According to the report which investigated communications within the company that dated from 2004 to 2010, it was determined by the committee that the company, which had already been fined in excess of $200 million, had faked data surrounding safety tests of its air bags, even after recalls had been announced and the recalls were underway.
The committee concluded that senior Takata staff was complicit in the manipulation of documents surrounding tests involving nitrate-based airbag inflators manufactured by the company. The committee in its report recommended that the NHTSA “phase out Takata ammonium nitrate-based airbags as soon as possible, accelerate the production of replacement airbags and more effectively manage the recall process to avoid consumer confusion.”
What is clear is that Takata bears responsibility for a defective product that has been shown to be responsible for both serious injuries and at least 11 deaths that came from defects in the company’s airbags. The evidence is clear that Takata knew about problems surrounding their air bags as early as 2000.
If you have suffered as the result of a malfunctioning Takata airbag, please consider letting John Foy & Associates represent you in a class action lawsuit or file a personal injury claim against Takata and the manufacturer. If a loved one has died, we can also file a wrongful death suit on your behalf. While no amount of money can ever take the place of the tragedy of losing someone you love, you may be entitled to monetary compensation in such a case.