It's the largest vehicle recall that has ever been issued and it's still continuing globally. Defective Takata airbags have been blamed for at least 15 deaths in the United States and dozens of injuries. While Australia and New Zealand are dealing with a massive recall vehicles affected by these faulty airbags right now, the United States has been dealing with the consequences of these defective products for several years now.
Vehicles manufactured by 19 different automakers have been recalled for defective frontal airbags on the driver's side, passenger side or both in what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has called an unprecedented recall in U.S. history. The Takata airbags were mostly installed in vehicles from model year 2002 through 2015. Some of these airbags could deploy explosively causing serious injuries or fatalities.
Dangerous and Defective Airbags
The problem with these defective airbags is the metal inflator that has ignited with significant force causing sharp pieces of metal from the airbag to get sprayed into the passenger compartment. This has led to vehicle occupants suffering catastrophic or fatal injuries. NHTSA, which got to the bottom of the problem, said the issue was caused by the use of ammonium nitrate without a chemical drying agent. When this chemical deteriorated, particularly in hot or humid climate, the airbags inflated with too much explosive force causing the shrapnel to go flying into the compartment.
The recall has expanded to include more than 37 million vehicles and about 50 million airbag inflators. However, just the fact that the automakers are required to replace the faulty airbags for free, has not actually led to the defective airbags getting replaced. Up until early this year, owners of vehicles with Takata airbags were not even able to get replacements because of a nationwide shortage. While that has eased up, it is still taking an awfully long time for owners to get their replacements. Meanwhile, millions of vehicles out on the street and in dealerships, waiting to be bought, still have the old, faulty Takata airbags.
What Actions Can Consumers Take?
If you suspect you own a vehicle or recently purchased a used vehicle that could be part of this massive recall, you can find out by visiting NHTSA's website and entering the vehicle identification number or VIN. If your vehicle is part of the recall, please do not waste any time in contacting the dealer and asking for a free, replacement airbag. If the dealer tells you that you need to wait to receive your replacement, it might be in your best interest to not drive the vehicle, carpool or take public transportation until you do receive that replacement.
Defected Airbag Recall Lawyer
If you have been injured by a faulty Takata airbag, contact an experienced Orange County Takata defected airbag recall lawyer who will fight for your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your significant losses. You may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, income lost due to workdays missed, hospitalization and rehab costs as well as past and future pain and suffering.
Contact an Orange County Defective Airbag Attorney today for a free consultation. Timothy J. Ryan & Associates have helped recover over $1 Billion.