A 50-year-old woman driving a 2001 Honda Civic died in a September 30 Riverside County car crash when her airbag failed to deploy, becoming the 11th known U.S. victim of defective Takata airbag inflators. This brings the total number of deaths to as many as 16 worldwide. To date, the Takata airbag recall is the largest automotive recall in U.S. history, affecting “1 out of every 7 vehicles on American roads today,” as noted by KTLA.
Takata airbag problems have led to the recall of approximately 34 million vehicles across the globe. The recalled airbags contain a propellant that may cause the airbag to explode upon impact in an accident, shooting out metal debris from the casing towards drivers and passengers. The lawsuit brought against the Japanese-based Takata charges that the company was aware of the airbag defect a decade ago, after conducting secret tests of the products which revealed dangerous flaws. However, instead of alerting federal safety regulators of these serious safety hazards, Takata allegedly ordered its engineers to delete the test data.
In the U.S., more than 69 million airbag inflators have been recalled, and over 100 million total worldwide. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, “the older the inflators are and the more time they spend in heat and humidity, the more likely they are to malfunction.”
In June, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that based on data it obtained, Takata airbags have probabilities as high as 50% to rupture in car accidents. The Huffington Post separately highlighted NHTSA’s May 2016 announcement that “17 auotmakers will be required to recall another 35 million to 40 million U.S. airbag inflators assembled by Takata by 2019.”
Despite these orders, the U.S. Senate has noted that new vehicles continue to be manufactured with flawed and defective Takata airbag inflators. As a result, millions of individuals are being forced to keep driving potentially unsafe automobiles that pose a deadly risk.
Takata Airbag Recall Lawsuits & 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 Mercedes-Benz, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, and BMW, among others.
Lieff Cabraser has successfully represented persons nationwide injured in accidents due to unsafe cars and components of cars that are defective, obtaining significant recoveries for our clients. Our law firm has been recognized by U.S. News, Best Lawyers and the National Law Journal as one of the top plaintiffs’ law firms in the nation.
Owners and lessees of these vehicles are welcome to contact Lieff Cabraser about safety concerns and their legal rights.