The Takata airbag recall involved the use of a cheap, volatile ingredient in Takata’s manufacturing of millions of airbags. From 2000 to 2008, the company kept quiet about these defects. As a result, over 20 people have been killed and hundreds more severely injured because of these defective airbags.
A Takata airbag recall lawsuit attorney can help you, or your loved one, if you’ve been injured because of this faulty product. You can hold this company liable for their errors and you may be eligible for monetary compensation for the damages you’ve suffered as a direct result of your injuries.
Why Takata Airbags Are Defective
Simply put, the pursuit of a cheaper and easier path led to these defective airbags. Takata replaced a safe chemical compound ingredient with a volatile compound simply because the compound was so much cheaper. In addition, Takata executives admitted to knowing about these defects, but still continued to supply car manufacturers with millions of airbags.
Takata Corporation’s Reaction to This Wrongdoing
Takata Corporation was founded in Shiga, Japan, in 1933 and became one of the innovators of the two-point seat belts used in cars today. Its reputation was first sullied in 1995 with a seatbelt recall. And in 2014, Takata executives admitted to the New York Times that they knew their plants in Mexico were not properly storing the chemicals used to manufacture airbags.
Deaths and Injuries Caused by the Takata Airbags
At least ten injuries worldwide have been caused by Takata airbags, including the recent death of a Georgia man who was driving in South Carolina. More than 100 people have claimed injuries from these defective airbags in a variety of vehicles.
Injuries Caused by Takata Airbags
Because these defective airbags cause a shrapnel-like explosion, injuries can be quite horrific, mimicking a shooting or knifing death. In fact, the first few airbag deaths were investigated as homicides because investigators assumed the victims had been shot or stabbed. Injuries include:
- Eye injuries, including blindness from flying shrapnel
- Skull and other bone fractures
- Blunt force trauma
- Trauma to organs
- Scrapes and bruises
- Head, neck, and spine injuries
- Hearing loss
Makes and Models of Vehicles Affected by the Defective Takata Airbags
The government has listed the vehicles affected by defective Takata Airbags. You can also check your car by the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at Safercar.gov.
If your vehicle has the defective Takata airbags, contact your local dealership to get your car repaired. It should be free of charge. Your attorney can protect your rights if an unscrupulous dealer charges you.
Honda also has a recall site to check your VIN to see if your car needs new airbags.
The Cause of the Defect
In 2001, Takata replaced a long-time used chemical compound, tetrazole, with a less expensive one called ammonium nitrite. This chemical is not a stable compound and its reaction to warmer climates causes the breakdown of these airbags. This is why humid parts of the country, such as Georgia, Florida, and Southern California, have been particularly affected.
The U.S. Government’s Response to Takata Airbags
The U.S. government has taken action, forcing a recall, as well as fining Takata $70 million for failing to promptly disclose the defect. The penalty can increase to $130 million if Takata does not obey the agreement it made with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Recall on the Defective Takata Airbags
There was a massive recall on defective Takata Airbags for many cars manufactured from 2000 to 2008. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides more information on what you need to know about it.
NHTSA Warnings About Takata Airbags
The NHTSA has issued two warnings about Takata airbag defects. The first concerns Alpha airbags which are the most dangerous and are therefore the most important to repair. Honda and Acura vehicles from 2001 to 2003 come equipped with alpha airbags, as do 2006 Ford Rangers and Mazda B-Series trucks.
The NHTSA’s second warning is that more vehicles are expected to pop up on future lists of Takata airbag recalls. If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of faulty airbags, it’s in your best interest to contact a class action lawyer.
Allegations Being Filed Against Takata and Automobile Manufacturers
The government states that Takata and car manufacturer Honda knew about these defects in 2004 and did not notify the NHTSA. The Wall Street Journal found internal company memorandums that showed Takata knew about the airbag defects and saw problems in airbag tests as early as 2000, four years before Honda started testing these airbags.
Steps to Take if You Were Injured Due to the Defective Takata Airbags
If you or a loved one was injured, or if a loved one was killed, due to a defective airbag, attorneys are sympathetic towards your loss. When you purchase a car, you have the right to expect that manufacturers had your safety and comfort as their number one goal. Nothing is more infuriating than when a billion-dollar company deceives and harms an innocent person.
You can decide to join a class action suit or file a personal injury claim against Takata and the car manufacturer. If a loved one has been killed from injuries caused by a defective Takata airbag, you can file a wrongful death case on their behalf to compensate your family.
Will Takata Claiming Bankruptcy Affect Your Ability to Collect Compensation?
In 2017, Takata filed for bankruptcy. However, while Takata may now be history, a small branch still exists solely to handle airbag part replacements. There is still money available to compensate accident victims suing for damages, particularly from the automakers like Honda that set aside cash reserves to handle these types of situations.
Takata claiming bankruptcy has no effect on your ability to seek compensation for injuries resulting from their faulty airbags. Experienced law firms can help your voice be heard and you could collect an award for your damages.
Damages You Can Recover From a Class Action Lawsuit
You may be able to collect compensation for any losses that occurred as a direct result of your injuries. For instance, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity and job opportunities
- Special home accommodations
- Pain and suffering
- Quality of Life
- Loss of companionship or consortium (in a wrongful death case)
Each case is different, however, and the amount of compensation you could recover will vary depending on a number of factors. Your Takata airbag recall lawsuit lawyer can help you total your economic and non-economic damages.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Takata Airbag Recall Lawsuit Lawyer?
Many qualified and experienced class-action lawyers will work on a contingency-fee basis. You will not owe any legal fees unless you win compensation from your lawsuit. Attorney’s fees tend to be a third of your total award. This amount can fluctuate depending on if your legal team needed to hire experts to attest to negligence.
John Foy & Associates Can Make Your Voice Heard
John Foy & Associates is one of Atlanta’s most established personal injury law firms. With around 30 attorneys and 100 employees, we can afford to go up against a billion-dollar multinational company. Our outrage at what has happened to you fuels our already strong commitment to protecting those who have been harmed by someone else’s negligence.
Whether we decide to file a personal injury claim or join a class-action lawsuit, we guarantee personal attention to your case. Call a Takata airbag recall lawsuit lawyer for a free consultation and let’s get to work.