Takata airbags can pose serious risks of consumer injury. According to a recent article from Consumer Reports, “more than 30 million vehicles in the United States, made by 10 different automakers, have been recalled to replace frontal airbags on the driver’s side or passenger’s side, or both.” The dangerous Takata airbags largely were installed in vehicle models from 2002 through 2008, but some model years up to 2014 also have been involved in the recall. What happens if you drive around with defective airbags in your car? As the article underscores, “some of those airbags could deploy explosively, injuring or even killing car occupants.” A Georgia man driving a 2006 Ford Ranger died in December when the airbags ruptured violently, raising to 10 deaths the toll from the dangerous airbags by the end of 2015, according to a recent New York Times article.
The problem concerns the inflator in the airbag. It is a metal cartridge that contains propellant. If the propellant malfunctions and create too powerful an explosion after an auto accident, it can spray metal shards—like shrapnel—through the passenger cabin of the vehicle. As such, the defect in the airbags can be deadly. Takata airbags have been linked to more than 100 injuries and 10 deaths, according to the New York Times. In multiple cases, metal shards penetrated the face and neck of the driver when the airbags exploded. The manufacturer knows about 88 total ruptures of the defective product, including 67 on the driver’s side of the automobile and 21 on the passenger side.
What is more difficult is that there is not a single reason that the airbags can explode. As the article notes, there are numerous contributing factors, including but not limited to:
Given that there is more than a single reason that the airbags can explode and cause injuries, the fix is not a simple one. Rather than repairing the airbag itself, consumers who have a vehicle with Takata airbags must wait for replacement airbags. Yet, as the article notes, “many affected owners are learning that it may take weeks or months for their replacement airbags to arrive.”
If your automobile has Takata airbags, you may be at risk of serious and even fatal personal injuries. How can you know if your car has been affected by the recall? The following is a recall list from Safercar.gov of automakers with specific models and years affected by the recall:
Daimler Trucks North America:
Daimler Vans USA LLC:
If you or someone you loved suffered an injury from a defect airbag or any defective product, you should speak with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to begin the process of filing a claim. Contact Disparti Law Group, P.A. today to learn more about how we can assist you.