In the event that you or someone you know has been injured in a vehicle accident associated with a defective Takata airbag, you may be entitled to recover compensation after consulting with an attorney. Takata is one of the biggest airbag system suppliers for motor vehicles across the world.
As of 2016, however, more than a dozen different automakers have issued recalls associated with the faulty airbags produced by this company. This has made the Takata airbags recall the biggest automotive recall in history. Numerous injuries and approximately one dozen deaths have been associated with the failure of these airbags around the globe. Those who have been injured in incidents involving a defective airbag are now taking action in the form of legal claims.
The worldwide use of Takata Corporation’s airbags began in 1988 and Takata airbags are still in production with many different automakers worldwide. In 2013, however, it became apparent that defective issues associated with Takata’s airbags were putting drivers and passengers at risk. As a result, 14 different automakers have issued recalls associated with vehicles that have had to cut affected airbags installed inside the vehicle.
Basics Behind Airbag Functionality
Airbags are a common safety feature and supplemental safety system used in automotives across the world, designed to minimize the rapid slowing down that occurs when a car hits another car or an object. The immediate velocity change without airbags means that passengers inside the vehicle are at risk of a serious injury.
When the deceleration is large enough, the airbag circuit will be triggered and this would ignite a chemical propellant to generate a large amount of gas into the inflator, therefore flooding the airbag and providing more cushion and reduced damage on the passenger’s impact. Takata airbags are some of the most popular airbags used by automakers around the world. They can be installed in the numerous locations across a vehicle.
Takata Airbags Safety Problems
Certain types of passenger and driver Takata airbags have been associated with faulty inflators. The propellant inside the inflators can degrade over time and leading to a sudden and unexpected airbag rupture. When these airbags inflate upon a crash, a faulty inflator can also mean that a ruptured airbag risk is much higher than normal.
A minimum of 11 deaths and over 100 injuries have been associated with these faulty inflators in the United States alone. It has been shown in research in the past that these defective inflators have the highest risk of suddenly rupturing in high humidity areas. However, this does not mean that only individuals living in those geographic locations affected by high humidity are the only ones who could be impacted and seriously hurt in an accident.
Recalls of Takata Airbags
The United States Department of Transportation initially announced a Takata airbag recall in 2015. This initial recall was a voluntary action taken by Takata and partner vendors, but it came after a tremendous amount of pressure from the USDOT. 11 different vehicle brands were impacted by the Takata airbag recall and in total, around 34 million airbags were impacted. The recalls have been expanded significantly since then, particularly as the understanding of the different geographical areas and humidity became apparent.
As of 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had recalled all passenger and driver Takata airbags that contained nitrite based propellants. This can impact up to 70 million vehicles over the 31 different vehicle brands.
Talking to your dealer is strongly recommended if you believe that these airbags are already installed in your vehicle. You can identify next steps at that point and then begin to consider legal action.
Takata Airbag Lawsuits
If you or someone you know has already been injured in an accident in which the Takata airbag ruptured suddenly, you may be eligible to pursue a Takata airbag lawsuit with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Legal actions associated with Takata airbags have recently been consolidated at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for multi-district litigation hearings. Consulting with an attorney is the best way to determine, whether or not you have grounds for a claim and the next steps involved in protecting your future.