Takata Air Bag Inflator Has Another Kill on its Name
Takata Corporation has another death hanging over its head. An exploding airbag inflator killed its 26th driver just recently. We’ve written on our blog extensively about the Takata Airbag situation. It is one of the worst auto parts scandals in recent memory.
What’s Wrong with Takata Airbags?
To put this in the simplest possible terms, Takata airbags can explode in a driver’s face given specific weather conditions. Takata knew about the problem after several filed lawsuits against them, but Takata settled these lawsuits under seal and kept the information not only from the general public but also from the several auto companies with whom the contracted. This resulted in several preventable deaths that are still occurring to this day.
The 17th Death in the United States
It was recently reported that a crash involving a 2002 Honda Civic which deployed the Takata airbag killed its driver in Mesa, Arizona.
The Takata inflators used to inflate the airbags used a volatile ammonium nitrate explosion to inflate the airbags. In some cases, the airbags inflated too fast exploding in the driver’s face. While the airbag can work for years without issue, prolonged exposure to moisture causes the ammonium nitrate to degrade. The result was an explosion in the driver’s face after experiencing an otherwise survivable accident.
The lawsuits that followed resulted in Takata Corp. filing for bankruptcy, most of their assets being liquidated, their executives resigning in disgrace, and one of the worst auto part failures in world history.
An investigation conducted by Honda determined that both airbags in the Honda Civic had ruptured. These Civics would have been recalled in 2011 when the initial recall was imposed by the NHTSA. Yet there are still thousands of vehicles out there that are being driven with defective airbags.
Just Because Vehicles are Recalled, Doesn’t Mean Drivers Will Bring Them In
In this situation, we have a preventable death that may not be actionable. Since the owner of the vehicle (who was not the driver) never bothered to take the car in to have the airbag replaced, they’ve been driving around with a timebomb in their vehicle for the bast decade. Honda, Ford, and GM among the other car manufacturers that had Takata airbags issued recalls when the story became major news in 2011. But if a driver never bothers to take the vehicle in to have it fixed, then there’s nothing the manufacturer can do to repair the airbag.
Talk to a Florida Defective Auto Parts Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident where a tire or other auto part malfunctioned, call the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.