Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer
Takata Lawsuit Attorneys
Exploding Airbag Recall
Recalls for defective Takata airbags made by the major parts supplier first began in 2009. The 2009 death of an Oklahoma woman killed by the shrapnel from a driverside airbag explosion prompted the initial recall. From 2002 until 2017, defective Takata airbags were installed in millions of vehicles by 34 different automakers. This resulted in what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called the largest and most complex recall in history. Recalled Takata airbags affected frontal airbags on both the driver’s side and passenger’s side of thousands of vehicle. If you have suffered injury from a defective Takata airbag, or a loved one has been killed, contact The Carlson Law Firm to discuss your case with a qualified Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer.
With the media so consumed by the massive Takata airbag recall, now is the time to seek the advice of an attorney about your injuries. The Carlson Law Firm has more than 40 years of experience representing clients who were victims of defective products. The Takata airbag recall involves several vehicles throughout the world equipped with exploding airbags. When these airbags explode, metal shrapnel and other objects propel toward the face and neck of vehicle occupants. With nearly 40 million vehicles affected worldwide, it is one of the most monumental recalls in U.S. history. Contact our firm to discuss your case with a qualified Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer.
Takata Airbags Defect
Takata airbag inflators sold to dozens of automakers have a serious, fatal defect. The defect is a cheap propellant inside of the inflators that degrade over time. This causes the inflator to rupture when the airbag deploys, launching pieces of scrap metal at the driver or passengers in the vehicle. Several deaths and injuries are the results of the velocity of the debris paired with the close proximity of passengers inside of a vehicle.
Tests conducted by Takata and independent entities conclude that there are wide differences in the time period propellant degradation occurs. Several factors influence the speed at which a propellant degrades. Make and models, airbag inflators and even propellant configurations play a role in how quickly the degradation occurs. Above all, the biggest influencers on propellant degradation are climate zones. Airbags with non-desiccated ammonium nitrate with prolonged exposure to absolute humidity, high temperatures and high temperatures cycling are at the highest risk for explosion.
It is important to note that the Takata airbag recall is centered on the airbag inflator—which is a component of the airbag assemble—not the actual airbag. For this reason, a supplier for the airbag and airbag inflator can be different for the same vehicle. Because of this, it is totally possible to have different suppliers for the driver and passenger-side airbag inflator in your vehicle.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury from a Takata airbag explosion, contact our firm today. A Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm cares about your situation and can help.
While the recall affects approximately 37 million vehicles, it affects more than 50 million defective Takata airbags inflators. These numbers do not match because some vehicles have both drivers side and passenger side airbags. According to the NHTSA, the Takata airbag defects are responsible for more than 23 deaths and hundreds more have been injured as a result of the Takata airbag defect. The NHTSA has issued two critical warnings for consumers:
- Alpha Airbags. These airbags have the highest risk of severely or fatally injuring drivers and passengers. Consequently, they are the highest priority for repair. Alpha airbags are found on certain 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles, 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series trucks. Click here for a complete list of vehicles containing Alpha airbags that need immediate repair.
- Additional vehicles are on future recall lists. By December 2019, the total number of affected airbags will increase to around 65-70 million. These vehicles do not currently appear in recall searches.
Takata Airbag Recall Timeline
In the late 1990s, Takata began making air-bag inflators with ammonium nitrate propellant. Around 2000, the company notes internally that air-bag inflators are not functioning properly. Further, the company noted explosions during product testing. In 2017, the company agreed to a $25 million criminal fine, a $125 million victim compensation fund and $850 million to pay to automakers.
- 2004: First reported airbag explosion in Alabama. Deemed “an anomaly.” No recall issued.
- 2007: Three more reports of airbag explosions. No recall issued.
- 2008: Honda settles with some injured drivers for airbag explosions and issued a small recall of 4,200.
- 2009: Two people died from more explosions. Recall expanded with Honda and Acura.
- 2010: Honda and Acura recalls expand even larger, adding several more models to the recall. Takata did not acknowldge deaths and injuries.
- 2011: Recall grows to 900,000 vehicles.
- 2012: Recall continues to expand as more cases are found.
- 2013: As more airbag explosions begin to happen for other automakers, recall expands to 3.5 million airbags for BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Isuzu, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota.
- 2014: Recall grows again from 4 million in June to 6.1 million in October. Additionally, the NHTSA investigates Takata airbags.
- 2015: NHTSA orders Takata to pay $14,000 per day for an inadequate response to the defect probe.
- 2016: As recalls begin to grow rapidly in numbers and automakers, it has reached 41 million vehicles worldwide.
- 2017: Takata pleads guilty to criminal charges in U.S. court, agreeing to pay $1 billion in penalties.
- 2017: Automakers Toyota, Mazda, Subaru and BMW agree to their own settlement with consumers over economic loss claims.
If a Takata airbag explosion injured you or a fatally wounded a loved one, contact our firm today. We have an experienced Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer ready to discuss your case. Your initial consultation is free and we work on a contingency basis.
The Takata Bankruptcy
In 2017, Takata filed for bankruptcy. However, the bankruptcy will not affect vehicles that need repair. The company and its financial advisers have determined that it owes too much money to many people to survive.
Essentially, the company dismantled itself in stages to pay off its debts. It sold assets, such as factories, to rival companies to use money from the sales to pay down its debts and settle legal claims. While the company at large is going away, a small remnant of the company emerged from the bankruptcy, primarily to handle airbag inflaters replacements. The money will go toward the banks, carmakers and accident victims who are suing for damages.
Honda is Takata’s largest customer. The company, along with several others, set aside large cash reserves to absorb recall costs. Japanese banks also have unpaid loans from the now-defunct business.
Despite the bankruptcy, the company plans to finish the process of replacing all of the defected airbags by 2020. Due to the magnitude of the problem, there is still a risk that more problems can arise from Takata airbags.
Is Takata paying victims?
In February 2018, Takata agreed to a $650 million deal to settle consumer protection claims from 44 states and Washington D.C. The company will pay only a fraction of the money because of the bankruptcy. However, with the exception of South Carolina, the states agreed that they will not collect the settlement so that victims of the defective Takata airbags can get a bigger piece of the company’s remaining money. South Carolina will receive just over $139,000 to cover the costs of the investigation.
If you suffered injuries from a Takata airbag explosion or a loved one was fatally injured, contact The Carlson Law Firm. we have a compassionate Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer that can help you navigate your claim. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Does the Takata Airbag Recall Include My Vehicle?
Every recall is serious. When a vehicle recall occurs, it means that there is a safety issue with your vehicle. It is important that you contact your dealer as soon as possible. All recall repairs are free at the manufacturer’s expense. If a dealer refuses to repair your vehicle as described in the recall letter, alert the manufacturer immediately. You can also file a complaint with the NHTSA.
Because this growing recall list includes many automakers, your vehicle may be on the Takata airbag recall list. More than 34 automakers and hundreds of vehicles have been affected. To see if your specific vehicle has been included, visit safecar.gov to enter your VIN number.
Is my Takata airbag recall vehicle to safe to drive?
The majority of Takata airbags will perform as expected. However, older vehicles in high humidity and high-temperature cycling are at the greatest risks for explosion defects. Your vehicle manufacturer will notify you by mail when you should schedule an appointment with your dealer to have your vehicle serviced. Furthermore, the type of repairs needed depends on the vehicle. Additionally, your letter will describe the repair and provide a guideline of how long it will take.
As of early June, nearly half a million vehicles in warm, humid south Florida have yet to have their faulty Takata airbags replaced. The vehicles are considered high priority because of Florida’s extreme temperatures and humidity. Older vehicles in south Florida are the highest risk of malfunction. This is because the ammonium nitrate propellant in their airbag inflators is most likely to degrade over time.
What Should I Do to get My Takata Airbag Replaced?
Check to see if your vehicle has an alpha airbag.
Vehicles with alpha airbags have the highest risk of rupture. These airbags carry a significant risk of injury or death. Vehicle owners whose cars contain alpha airbags should contact the vehicle manufacturer to have the airbag replaced immediately. All vehicles with alpha airbags are under ‘active recall’.
Check if your vehicle is under active recall.
Active recall means that vehicle owners should have airbags replaced now. Contact your manufacturer as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for replacement.
Check for future recalls.
If your vehicle is not under an active recall, it is important to check again. Recalls may be initiated at any point. Because of this, you should ensure that your manufacturer has your current contact details so they can notify you if your vehicle does receive a recall.
Don’t ignore recall notices.
Do not disregard recall communications addressed to you. Even if you have already had your Takata airbag replaced, communication could be in regards to a different recall. In fact, some vehicles may have had the driver side airbags replaced, but not passenger side airbags. Further, some vehicle may have received a ‘life for like’ replacement; meaning an older affected airbag was replaced with a newer affected airbag that does not yet pose a safety risk. Eventually, the newer airbag requires replacement in the future to ensure long-term safety.
If you or someone you love suffered an injury as a result of a defective Takata airbag, contact The Carlson Law Firm. A qualified Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer can help you figure out the next steps in your recovery.
What Role Do Automakers Play in the Takata Recall?
A January 2018 CBS News report states, “automakers have been slow to replace the potentially deadly inflators.” As of Sept. 15, 2017 automakers have recalled 43.1 million inflators, while only 18.5 million have been replaced. It is important to note that the Takata airbag recall began in 2001.
Because of the size and complexity of the Takata recall automakers will learn tremendous lessons. These lessons will eventually assist automakers in reaching their repair goals. The NHTSA is monitoring automakers’ progress and actively working to make improvements to the process. These improvements are in hopes to eventually increase completion rates. In addition to monitoring the progress of repairs, the NHTSA has the authority to fine automakers who don’t make the repairs in a timely manner.
UPDATE: Takata in the News
Since the recall began, there have been several news updates. The most recent came on July 16, 2018, when court documents revealed that Ford Motor Company agreed to an economic loss settlement of $299.1 million. The settlement agreement covers at least 6 million U.S. vehicles with potential faulty Takata airbag inflators.
The Ford settlement covers several forms of economic damages linked to the inflators. This includes claims that vehicles were inaccurately represented as safe. However, it also points out the fact that buyers overpaid for cars with defective or substandard airbags. Many of these buyers faced additional out of pocket costs to deal with recalls.
Ford joins six other automakers who previously agreed to similar settlements worth a combined total of over $1.2 billion. Those automakers include Honda Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp; Nissan Motor Co; Mazda Motor Corp, Subaru Corp and BMW AG.
A Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm can Help with Your Takata Airbag Lawsuit
If you or a loved suffered serious or fatal injury by the impact of an explosion or shrapnel from one of these defective Takata airbags, you could be in a position to take legal action. The Carlson Law Firm is ready to fight on your behalf with award-winning lawyers that are passionate about personal injury and helping victims.
Your Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer has until Aug. 31, 2018, to build your case and submit the correct paperwork for your claim.
It is extremely important to contact a Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm right away to schedule your free consultation.