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Deaths and Injuries from Takata Airbags Prompt Recall

Posted on in Product Liability

Takata airbag recall, Chicago product liability attorneyTakata airbags, used in many major car companies, are being recalled following reports of metal shards piercing victims’ faces and necks after the airbags deployed in accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a consumer advisory listing vehicle makes, models, and years affected by the recall.

Takata airbags are manufactured and sold by Takata Corporation of Japan to many car companies throughout the world. Those companies that have issued recalls are BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota, affecting over 7.8 million vehicles.

The NHTSA is urging car owners who own vehicles from the affected companies to check their VIN number to see if their vehicle is included in the recall. If your car is included in the recall, contact your car manufacturer for replacement details. The defective Takata airbags are linked to four deaths and over 100 injuries in accidents where the recalled airbag deployed, sometimes shooting metal shards into the inside of the car, caused by a potentially deteriorated propellant that ruptured the inflator housing.

Manufacturers have been cooperating with the recall and are issuing recall warnings to owners of the affected vehicles, but in some cases, owners may not receive a recall letter. A January 18 accident in Texas is the fifth death potentially linked to the Takata recall. The driver was involved in a minor two-car collision and the airbag inflator exploded, killing the driver. He had purchased the car used and he may not have received the recall warning. Paperwork is not sent to manufacturers after the purchase of used vehicles.

Additionally, parts suppliers are not required to report quality control issues to NHTSA. NHTSA uses accident reports and defect claims to start investigations into defective parts on vehicles and the part manufacturer. With no preventative measures in place, car owners are left at an elevated risk for injuries or death in the future caused by defective car parts that can cause accidents or increase the likelihood of additional injuries or death during the accident.

Leaving a gap in responsibility for reporting known quality control issues may open manufacturers to product liability cases filed against them in the future. An investigation is being conducted by NHTSA to determine if Takata knew about the defective products that caused the deaths and injuries of many people and the recall of millions of vehicles. Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. have handled many types of product liability cases, including cases involving defective airbags.

Car manufacturers and car part suppliers should be held accountable for defective parts that negatively impact car owners’ time and possibly life. If you have been affected by the Takata airbag recall, contact a Chicago defective car parts attorney today. Call the law office of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., at 312-553-4900 for a free consultation.

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