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Dodge Challenger, Takata recall, Chicago defective car parts lawyerDodge Challengers have recently been added to the ever-growing list of Takata airbag recalls. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) says that the Challengers were “inadvertently excluded” from the original recall list submitted to the NHTSA. The FCA also stated it was not until an audit on July 6 that they realized the 88,346 Dodge Challengers, manufactured between September 2007 and October 2010, had Takata airbags.

The Japanese-manufactured airbags contain a propellant that can degrade over time from moisture exposure. Even in a low-speed impact, the airbags can deploy with such excessive force that they self-destruct and shoot shrapnel into the passenger compartment. Over the last decade, they have been traced back to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries.

Takata’s Failures in Morality

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Chicago defective product lawyerThe Takata airbag recall has been unfolding since October, starting with a massive recall that affected 11 car companies. The Takata recall was already setting records for the amount of companies it affected with the recall. On May 19, Takata nearly doubled the recall amount and now affects approximately 34 million vehicles. It is now the largest automotive recall in history.

With the recall almost doubling, it may take years to replace the airbags that are being recalled. New processing procedures and airbags have to be produced and then shipped to dealers for replacement. Implementing a new process for producing the airbags may require modifying machines, training employees, and the other procedures to ensure their product is safe. This can take time to implement, making consumers who have to have their airbags replaced wait even longer. Takata and the car companies have a product liability responsibility to the consumer to ensure their products are safe to use.

While the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Takata will not have all the vehicles affected for a few weeks at least, of the 11 companies affected by the recall, Honda has been affected the most. Reports have been reviewed about if Honda knew about the defects before the recall was issued and did not report it to the NHTSA, but Honda has started looking into other companies for replacing the airbags. The solution is coming a little too late for some consumers who have already been affected by the defect, including families who have lost family members due to the defective airbags.

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bmw motorcycle recall, Chicago auto parts liability lawyerMany motorcyclists are passionate, not only about the type of motorcycle they ride, but also about their safety. What happens when motorcyclists’ safety are put in jeopardy by the company who produced their bike because of a defective part? The motorcycle manufacturer who produced the parts is responsible for product liability if there is a defective part. Motorcyclists should not have to be concerned about having their motorcycle breaking while they are riding due to a part on their bike breaking.

BMW is recalling over 40,000 motorcycles of different models and years due to a rear wheel flange defect. The defect can cause the flange to crack if the rear tire mounting bolts are tightened too much. The crack can cause the rear wheel to come loose from the bike, increasing instability in the motorcycle and likelihood of a crash.

The recall is affecting 16 of BMW’s motorcycle models. BMW expects the recall to begin in April, but that is not guaranteed. BMW plans to notify customers affected by the recall. For some motorcyclists, riding is their only means of transportation though. If they are unable to ride their motorcycle, they may lose their job or suffer from an accident if they have to continue to ride their motorcycle because it is the only vehicle they own. Neither option is acceptable. BMW motorcycle owners are able to input their VIN number into BMW’s Safety Recalls page to see if their bike is affected this recall or any other through BMW.

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Takata airbag recall lawyer, Chicago product liability attorneyHonda announced it is adding nearly 105,000 more vehicles to the recall list it began last year over reports of potentially deadly airbags. The automaker’s recall now includes 5.5 millions vehicles sold under the Honda or Acura brands in the United States. Ten other auto manufacturers have also been forced to recall a combined 11.5 million vehicles equipped with possibly defective airbags, all products of the same auto parts supplier.

Recall Timeline

In October 2014, 11 automakers announced the recall of more than 14 million vehicle sold with airbags manufactured by Japanese part maker Takata. Less than month later, The New York Times carried a report that Takata was aware nearly ten years ago that some of the company’s airbags could possibly explode, putting a driver at risk from flying metal debris. The report claims that rather than notifying safety officials, Takata tested potential fixes and redesigns, then scrapped the program and scrubbed the data. Regulatory filings from the company do not acknowledge any such testing until 2008, when the first airbag rupture-related recall was initiated.

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takata airbag recall, Chicago IL Product Liability LawyerRecalls of Takata airbags started as early as 2008.  Takata and Honda allegedly both knew about the recalls as early as 2004. Why did the major recall from the National Highway Traffic-Safety Administration (NHTSA) not start until October of last year? Why are so many vehicles still on the road and not getting the necessary replacement they need?

Takata has indicated that they do not expect to have enough new airbags produced to cover the amount of recalled vehicles until late 2015. This is not an acceptable rate of replacement for a mandatory recall that has affected over 7.8 million vehicles from 10 car manufacturers.

The 10 manufacturers affected by the Takata recall have contracted with Orbital ATK to conduct their own tests on the defective airbags. Orbital ATK is a defense and aerospace firm that provides products to the United States, its allies, and government contractors. They were chosen by the 10 manufacturers for their expertise in the field of engineering and the ability to move the investigation into the defective airbags forward.

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