Lawsuit Says Automakers Knew of Takata Airbag Hazards for Years Without Acting

Lawsuit Says Automakers Knew of Takata Airbag Hazards for Years Without Acting

New allegations point to automakers keeping silent in the face of known dangers to maximize profits

As alleged in new documents filed in the Takata airbag rupture dangers lawsuit, at least four automakers “knew for years that Takata’s airbags were dangerous and could rupture violently but continued to use those airbags in their vehicles to save on costs, lawyers representing victims of the defect asserted in a court document filed on Monday.” The New York Times reports that while previous investigations had viewed the automakers as victims taken in by a “rogue supplier” that had falsified safety data to conceal the deadly defects, new information brought to court by plaintiff attorneys in the case indicate a much deeper involvement on the part of the major automakers who used the defective airbags in their vehicles for years. [Read more…]

Over 650,000 Vehicles Added to Takata Airbag Recall, Including Tesla, BMW & Nissan

652,000 More Vehicles Added to Takata Airbag Recall, Including Tesla, BMW & Nissan

Over a dozen automakers, including Tesla, BMW and Nissan, have recalled 652,000 more vehicles containing the faulty Takata airbag inflators, which can explode upon impact in an accident and dangerously shoot out metal debris from the casing towards drivers and passengers. This recall is expected to start in February. The newly added vehicles join 6 million already recalled in the U.S., and 34 million more worldwide. [Read more…]

Law360’s Top Auto Developments, Litigation Matters to Watch in 2017

Law360’s Top Auto Developments, Litigation Matters to Watch in 2017

Legal publication Law360 has provided a list of the top, most interesting automotive trials and vehicle legislation to watch for in the coming year. These matters include ongoing Volkswagen diesel emission cases, GM ignition switches, Takata airbags, self-driving car and vehicle safety regulations, and vehicle cybersecurity and connectivity. [Read more…]

U.S. Vehicle Safety Officials Investigating Fiat Chrysler Roll-Away Crashes

U.S. Vehicle Safety Officials Investigating Fiat Chrysler Roll-Away Crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating a potential Fiat Chrysler auto defect, in which the vehicles roll away despite being shifted into park. U.S. auto safety regulators will be inspecting about 1 million 2013-2016 model year Ram 1500 pickup trucks and 2014-2016 Dodge Durango SUVs in the wake of numerous vehicle roll-away reports. These auto injury reports have included nine injuries and 25 crashes so far. [Read more…]

Volkswagen Confirms Audi Gasoline Vehicles Are Cheating on CO2 Emissions, New Lawsuit Filed

Volkswagen Confirms Audi Gasoline Vehicles Are Cheating on CO2 Emissions, New Lawsuit Filed

U.S. and European authorities pushing past VW’s previous diesel emissions scandal have received confirmation from Volkswagen that certain Audi gas-engine models show significant irregularities relating to carbon dioxide emissions levels. A new lawsuit accuses Volkswagen (which owns Audi) of equipping some of Audi’s gasoline vehicles with similar illegal “defeat devices” designed to evade government regulations by tricking the public and regulators into thinking the cars emit far less noxious carbon dioxide gas than they actually do. [Read more…]

Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Litigation: Statement on Volkswagen 3.0-Liter TDI Vehicles

VW Emissions Fraud Litigation

Elizabeth Cabraser, Court-appointed Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, released the following statement regarding news reports involving 3.0-liter TDI vehicles. [Read more…]

In Memory of Clarence Ditlow III, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety

In Memory of Clarence Ditlow III, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety

Clarence M. Ditlow III, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety, died on November 10th after a year-long battle with cancer. Allies as well as those he challenged united in praise for his 40 years of ceaseless fighting to keep the nation’s roads safer for everyone who used them. Safety Research & Strategies, Inc. noted his passing as a “big loss for the safety advocacy community,” while Senators Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., noted in a joint statement in the Congressional Record of September 29th that Ditlow was “A tireless champion for consumers, [whose] work has resulted in better government oversight of automakers, the installation of key safety features and the exposure of safety defects in millions of cars, SUVs, and other trucks.” [Read more…]

David Stellings Discusses Litigating Automobile Class Actions

David Stellings Discusses Litigating Automobile Class Actions

Lieff Cabraser partner David S. Stellings will be featured at the Law Seminars International (LSI) Second Annual NOLA Advanced Seminar on “Litigating Automobile Class Actions” from December 6-7, 2016 at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, Louisiana. As Program Co-Chair, Mr. Stellings will provide an introduction and overview of the seminar, then will participate in a roundtable discussion entitled “View From the Top: How To Manage an Auto-Defect Case,” where he will share tips based on his experiences in the VW Diesel Emissions consumer litigation. [Read more…]

Riverside County Crash Death Linked to Defective Takata Airbags – 11th U.S. Victim

Riverside County Crash Death Linked to Defective Takata Airbags – 11th U.S. Victim

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. [Read more…]

GM Auto Recall of 4.3 Million Vehicles Due to Airbag Software Defect

GM Auto Recall of 4.3 Million Vehicles Due to Airbag Software Defect

General Motors will voluntarily recall nearly 4.3 million vehicles worldwide due to an airbag software defect linked to at least one death and three injuries in the United States. The defect purportedly prevents the airbags from inflating in a car accident. The auto recall affects about 3.64 million vehicles in the U.S., including trucks, cars, and SUVs with the 2014-2017 model years. [Read more…]