This week the Japanese company Takata, one of the largest global suppliers of airbags, admitted their product was defective and widened the recall to 34 million cars and trucks. In a statement admitting fault, Takata doubled the number of vehicles recalled in the United States. This unprecedented recall announcement is the largest of its kind in U.S. history. With 34 million cars, this means that roughly one in seven cars on the road today are needing to be repaired.
As we have touched on in past blog posts, the problem with Takata airbags is that they can explode violently when they deploy, sending shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Since the flaw was uncovered, six deaths and more than 100 injuries have been linked to Takata airbags. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective airbag, please contact Atkins & Markoff today. Our personal injury lawyers will work with you to determine if you have a case and the right to join thousands of others in pursuing legal action against the Japanese airbag manufacturer.
What You Need to Know
Up until the May 18th announcement, Takata had refused to acknowledge that their airbags are defective. Even though this announcement is far reaching and it is likely that most car brands are affected, we will not know exactly which makes and models of cars and trucks are being recalled until the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) coordinates with automakers. As of right now, Honda is the automaker that has been most affected by the Takata airbag recalls. Other automakers, including Nissan, Chrysler, Toyota, and BMW, are not yet in a position to take further action in regards to recalling any vehicles. In a statement, each said that they would need to review the announcement before moving forward.
Industry experts have pointed to American safety regulators as the main reason why Takata was finally pushed to making this announcement. Over the last year, auto regulators have been tightening the screws, going as far as fining Takata $14,000 a day for not cooperating with the investigation into their faulty airbags.
Takata has been dealing with concerns over its airbags since as early as 2000, when numerous customers filed complaints with the NHTSA regarding Takata airbags rupturing. Over the last 15 years, awareness started to grow within the company. In fact, Takata ordered tests on the airbags in 2004 and found signs of defects, but hid the findings instead of sharing them with regulators. Jump forward to 2008 when Honda recalled more than 4,000 cars with Takata airbags in them, and then made an additional recall of 510,000 vehicles just six months later after a teenager was killed by shrapnel from an exploding Takata airbag.
Contact Atkins & Markoff Today
With Takata announcing a staggering 34 million cars and trucks should be recalled due to faulty airbags, it is safe to say we will see a rise in the number of cases brought against the Japanese manufacturer. If your car is on the list of recalled vehicles and you have had problems with its airbag, contact Atkins & Markoff today. Our lawyers have been following the Takata airbag case diligently and are well-equipped to represent you in a court of law. To find out more about the Takata airbag recall or to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers, please contact Atkins & Markoff today.