The rise of vehicle recalls has grown over the past few months due to defective air bags in over 14 million vehicles and 11 car manufacturers. In a published online insight by The New York Times, the article reveals that defective air bags manufactured by Takata have been a concern for the past decade with the first reported incident occurring in 2004.
In this instance, the air bag exploded, shooting out metal fragments and causing injury to the driver of the Honda Accord. There was no recall issued at the time and Honda and Takata officials identified it as an isolated incident. Injuries reported have been due to shrapnel or chemicals coming from the faulty airbags. More than 30 of these injuries have been linked to flaws in Honda vehicles.
According to Honda officials, Takata reported that its plant workers had an unreliable, handwritten system for marking which air bags might contain defective parts. Another possible “explanation” of the faulty air bags was that machine operators working in the plant in 2001 could have unintentionally switched off the function that separates out poorly made devices, a problem corrected in 2002 with systems upgrades, according to Takata records.
Product manufacturers are responsible for reporting safety problems and potential risks to the public. As The New York Times article points out, the delay by Honda and Takata to alert the public about its air bag defect led to other automakers such as Nissan, Toyota, and BMW being unaware of its own possible defects, delaying recalls.
Unfortunately, many times faulty product concerns are often handled on an internal basis only, leaving the public at risk. If you or a family member have been the victim of injuries due to a defective air bag in Illinois, contact a Chicago product liability lawyer who has experience litigating against manufacturing companies and cares about accountability.