Close to 20 different automobile manufacturers* have issued safety recalls on their vehicles, due to faulty airbags made by Takata, a Japanese parts supply company. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls the Takata Airbag recall “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.”
The recall involves Takata airbags installed in the front, driver’s sides, and passenger’s sides of model year vehicles 2002 through 2015. According to the NHTSA, the problem is that the airbag inflator uses an unstable gas propellant. In certain environmental conditions or after a certain length of time, the airbags can explosively deploy, even sending shrapnel into the vehicle. As of March 2017, 11 people have died and approximately 180 have been injured in the U.S. because of the Takata airbag inflator issues.
Earlier this year, Takata pleaded guilty in federal court to deceiving automakers about the safety of its airbags. The company agreed to pay $1 billion in penalties to settle criminal charges. In a separate lawsuit, multiple automobile manufacturers are claiming that some car companies knew the airbags were defective, but chose to install the airbags anyway. That lawsuit has not yet been heard in court.
The NHTSA estimates that the Takata airbag recall will affect some 65-70 million airbags installed in more than 42 million vehicles in the U.S. To determine whether the Takata airbag recall affects your personal vehicle, you can visit the website http://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and enter your vehicle identification number.
All safety recalls should be taken seriously, and drivers (if affected by the recall) should have the work performed as soon as possible. However, it is important to note that because of the massive scale of this recall, airbag suppliers are backed up with replacement orders, and it could take some time for new airbags to arrive at your local repair shop or dealership.
For more information about the Takata airbag recall, or if you or someone you know has been injured in a collision involving a Takata airbag, call The Gore Law Firm at (404) 436-1529 to schedule a free personal injury consultation.
*Acura, Audi, BMW, Chrysler (Dodge, Jeep), Ferrari, Ford/Lincoln, General Motors, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar/Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota/Scion, Volkswagen