Japan-based Takata Corporation is set to recall an additional 35 million airbag inflators as a result of significant safety risks which have been linked to multiple deaths and injuries. Defective exploding Takata airbags have been revealed as the cause of ten U.S. driver and passenger deaths, as well as an additional death in Malaysia and serious injuries to over 100 other individuals. The airbag defect and its deadly consequences have led to the largest vehicle recall in U.S. history.
The recalled Takata airbags contain an ammonium nitrate propellant that can cause the airbag to explode upon impact in a car accident, shooting out metal debris from the casing towards drivers and passengers. These airbag propellants lack a drying agent that would keep moisture from building up; this is seen as a key factor behind the device explosions. More than a dozen automakers are recalling vehicles equipped with these defective airbag inflators – Honda Motor Co. is the manufacturer most affected by the problem.
Personal injury lawsuits filed on behalf of victims and vehicle owners charge that the company knew of defects in its airbags a decade ago, after conducting secret tests of the products that displayed dangerous flaws. Rather than alert federal safety regulators to these risks, Takata allegedly ordered its engineers to delete the test data.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “Takata has agreed not to sign any more contracts to sell ammonium nitrate inflators, and it has agreed to phase that kind of inflator out of manufacturing by the end of 2018.”
So far, there have been 28.8 million recalled vehicles containing the flawed Takata airbags – this new recall is likely to more than double that number.
Takata Airbag Recall Lawsuit & Your Legal Rights
Lieff Cabraser represents drivers across the U.S. harmed by these air bag defects in lawsuits against Takata. Nearly 34 million vehicles, most manufactured prior to 2009, have been recalled worldwide due to the problem. This is the largest automotive recall to date in U.S. history. These airbags were installed in U.S. and foreign made cars and pickup trucks including in vehicles made by Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, and BMW, among others.