When safety is at stake, it is essential to know the details about this massive airbag recall that could affect you or the people you love.
Nearly 70 million airbags are or will be recalled in the U.S. due to the massive effort to stop the tide of Takata airbag deaths. The Takata airbag inflator is found in many major car brands in America, but data shows the inflator is actually a defective and dangerous product. The Takata airbag death toll already numbers eleven, with more than 100 people suffering injury as the result of the exploding airbags.
In December 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced an expedited timeline to replace the airbags but predicted it will not be complete until September 2020. As of that month, more than 12 million airbags had been replaced, but in total, 42 million vehicles will be affected, with between 64 and 69 million airbags being replaced with safer models.
NHTSA officials said the low rate of replacement was in part because drivers were not responding to the Takata recall in rates as high as they could.
According to CNN, a 50-year-old woman died in September 2016, due to a defective Takata airbag. Her car was a 2001 model that became subject to the recall in 2008. Repairs, however, were never completed. Consumer Reports says that most cars affected were of model years 2002 to 2015.
What Happens When Takata Airbags Malfunction?
The good news is that the NHTSA understands the problem. Airbags that use a specific kind of propellant without a drying agent can improperly inflate under certain environmental conditions. The result is quite disturbing for drivers concerned about safety. Exploding airbags can send shrapnel into car occupants, with witness accounts saying the victims appear to be shot or stabbed.
What Do You Need to Know?
Since the Takata airbag recall applies to as many as one in seven cars on American roads, there is a good chance your vehicle poses an accident risk. To find out for sure, you can enter your Vehicle Identification Number on the NHTSA website to see if your car falls under any recall issued in the past 15 years.
The Takata airbag recall is complex. It is the largest recall ever to affect the automobile industry and it is not a quick fix. The NHTSA said even those inflators that can be swapped out for lower risk parts will eventually need redesigned airbag units to be installed.
Can You Take Legal Action?
Takata and the car makers have a responsibility to bring a safe product to the market. When they fail to meet that obligation, drivers and others on the road may be at risk of injury. The number of Takata airbag deaths is still quite small in comparison to the number of units in use, but the trend is troubling — especially since the NHTSA has confirmed that the airbag is indeed defective.
You and your loved ones have the right to know about your legal options if you are in an auto accident that was the fault of another party or if you suffered harm because of a defective product. Personal injury lawyers focus specifically on assisting people who have suffered losses because of the negligence of an individual or corporation. If you have suffered loss, a personal injury lawyer can help you. It is easy to learn more by calling 1-866-242-0452.