Takata Airbag Lawsuit • Defective Airbag Lawyer
With the January 2020 announcement of the last batch of vehicles with defective Takata airbags, the Takata recall spanning across two decades seems to have an end in sight. 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.
Recalls for defective Takata airbags made by the major parts supplier first began in the early 2000s when Honda recalled 4,000 Accords and Civics. 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 vehicles.
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: Final Recall of 2020
On January 2, 2020, Takata announced a recall of 10 million more front airbag inflators sold to 14 different automakers. Its latest recall stems from the serious and fatal defect that has led to the injury and deaths of hundreds of motorists around the world. The 2020 Takata airbag recall is said to be the last one the now-bankrupt company agreed to in a 2015 settlement with U.S. safety regulators.
The 10 million Takata airbag inflators are part of the 70 million in the United States that Takata recalled as part of their agreement with NHTSA.
Vehicles made by Audi, BMW, Honda, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen are affected by January 2020 announcement. These automakers will determine which of their vehicles are affected by the latest recall and launch their own recalls. In fact, some auto manufacturers have already announced their recalls.
What are the Takata airbag defects?
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. As of January 2020, Alpha airbags include the following
- 2001-2002 Honda Civic
- 2001-2002 Honda Accord
- 2002-2003 Acura TL
- 2002 Honda CR-V
- 2002 Honda Odyssey
- 2003 Acura CL
- 2003 Honda Pilot
- Certain 2006 Ford Ranger (Ford advises do not drive)
- Certain 2006 Mazda B-Series (Mazda advises do not drive)
Additional vehicles are on future recall lists. With the final Takata airbag recall, the total number of affected airbags increased to around 70 million. These vehicles will soon begin appearing 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.
- 2018: Takata expanded its already massive recall by an additional 3.3 million airbag inflators over the same concerns that they might explode and spray dangerous metal fragments into the vehicle’s cabin. This was the third of five planned recalls.
- 2019: Ford recalls nearly 800,000 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. Toyota annonces it will install new. non-Takata airbags in select Corolla, Sequoia, Tundra and Lexus models.
- 2020: In early January, Takata recalled an additional 10 million airbag inflators sold to 14 different automakers.
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.
Recall Zones Based on Temperature and Humidity
Because these airbags become increasingly unstable in persistently high humidity and temperatures, NHTSA has broken the U.S. and its territories into three zones based on recall priority. This categorization is based on the state’s weather conditions and the likelihood of Takata airbag components degradation.
Takata Recall Zones
This is the highest priority zone. If you receive a recall notice and live in one of the following states, seek repairs immediately.
- Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Vehicles in Zone B are in the second highest priority zone. While not as urgent as Zone A, drivers should seek vehicle repairs the moment parts become available.
- Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Although Zone C is the lowest priority, taking immediate action the moment parts become available to you will keep you and your loved ones safe.
- Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
What Are Alpha Airbags?
While Takata airbags have made headlines from the last several years, you may be unfamiliar with what NHTSA considers alpha airbags. These are airbags with high-risk inflators that pose a 50 percent risk of launching shrapnel after an explosion. For owners of the following vehicles, the necessary parts for repairs are currently available.
NHTSA considers the following vehicles at a much higher risk for a Takata airbag explosion:
- 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles
- 2006 Ford Ranger
- 2006 Mazda B-Series trucks
NHTSA warns that these vehicles can and should receive immediate repairs. In addition, the agency recommends that vehicles should not be driven unless you are driving to the dealer have them repaired.
Vehicle makes and models included in the Takata airbag recall:
2008-2013 BMW 1 Series
2000-2013 BMW 3 Series
2001-2003 BMW 5 Series
2013-2015 BMW X1
2007-2010 BMW X3
2001-2003, 2007-2013 BMW X5
2008-2014 BMW X6
2010-2011 BMW X6 Hybrid
2005-2015 Chrysler 300
2007-2009 Chrysler Aspen
2007-2008 Chrysler Crossfire
2008-2014 Dodge Challenger
2006-2015 Dodge Charger
2005-2011 Dodge Dakota
2004-2009 Dodge Durango
2005-2008 Dodge Magnum
2003-2008 Dodge Ram 1500/2500/3500 Pickup
2005-2009 Dodge Ram 2500 Pickup
2007-2010 Dodge Ram 3500 Cab Chassis
2006-2009 Dodge Ram 3500 Pickup
2008-2010 Dodge Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis
2007-2016 Jeep Wrangler
2010-2015 Ferrari 458 Italia
2014-2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale
2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale A
2012-2015 Ferrari 458 Spider
2016-2017 Ferrari 488 GTB
2016-2017 Ferrari 488 Spider
2009-2014 Ferrari California
2015-2017 Ferrari California T
2013-2017 Ferrari F12
2016-2017 Ferrari F12 tdf
2016 Ferrari F60
2012-2016 Ferrari FF
2017 Ferrari GTC4Lusso
2007-2010 Ford Edge
2006-2012 Ford Fusion
2005-2006 Ford GT
2005-2014 Ford Mustang
2004-2011 Ford Ranger
2007-2010 Lincoln MKX
2006-2012 Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ
2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade
2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV
2007-2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT
2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche
2007-2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD
2007-2013 Chevrolet Silverado LD
2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban
2007-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe
2007-2014 GMC Sierra HD
2007-2013 GMC Sierra LD
2007-2014 GMC Yukon
2007-2014 GMC Yukon XL
2003-2010 Pontiac Vibe
2005-2006 Saab 9-2x
2006-2011 Saab 9-3
2006-2009 Saab 9-5
2008-2009 Saturn Astra
2003 Acura 3.2CL
2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
2013-2016 Acura ILX
2013-2014 Acura ILX Hybrid
2003-2006 Acura MDX
2007-2016 Acura RDX
2005-2012 Acura RL
2009-2014 Acura TL
2009-2014 Acura TSX
2010-2013 Acura ZDX
2001-2012 Honda Accord
2001-2011 Honda Civic
2003-2011 Honda Civic Hybrid
2001-2011 Honda Civic NGV
2010-2015 Honda Crosstour
2002-2011 Honda CR-V
2011-2015 Honda CR-Z
2003-2011 Honda Element
2010-2014 Honda FCX Clarity
2007-2013 Honda Fit
2013-2014 Honda Fit EV
2010-2014 Honda Insight
2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
2003-2015 Honda Pilot
2006-2014 Honda Ridgeline
2006-2010 Honda GL1800 Gold Wing (motorcycle)
High-Risk Honda Models:
2001-2002 Honda Civic
2001-2002 Honda Accord
2002-2003 Acura TL
2002 Honda CR-V
2002 Honda Odyssey
2003 Acura CL
2003 Honda Pilot
2009-2015 Jaguar XF
2007-2012 Land Rover Range Rover
2004-2009 Mazda B-Series
2007-2012 Mazda CX-7
2007-2015 Mazda CX-9
2006-2007 Mazda Mazdaspeed6
2004-2006 Mazda MPV
2004-2011 Mazda RX-8
2005-2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2010-2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2011-2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabrio
2010-2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe
2009-2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
2010-2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
2009-2011 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class
2009-2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
2007-2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
2011-2015 Mercedes-Benz SLS-Class
2012, 2014, 2016, 2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
2004-2007 Mitsubishi Lancer
2004-2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
2006-2009 Mitsubishi Raider
2003-2008 Infiniti FX
2001 Infiniti I30
2002-2004 Infiniti I35
2006-2010 Infiniti M
2002-2003 Infiniti QX4
2001-2003 Nissan Maxima
2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder
2002-2006 Nissan Sentra
2007-2012 Nissan Versa
2003-2006 Subaru Baja
2009-2013 Subaru Forester
2004-2011 Subaru Impreza (Including WRX/STI)
2003-2014 Subaru Legacy
2003-2014 Subaru Outback
2006-2014 Subaru Tribeca
2012-2014 Subaru WRX/STI
2007-2012 Lexus ES350
2010-2017 Lexus GX460
2006-2013 Lexus IS250/350
2010-2015 Lexus IS250C/350C
2008-2014 Lexus IS F
2012 Lexus LFA
2002-2010 Lexus SC430
2008-2015 Scion xB
2003-2013 Toyota Corolla
2003-2008 Toyota Corolla Matrix
2009-2013 Toyota Matrix
2004-2005 Toyota Rav4
2002-2007 Toyota Sequoia
2011-2014 Toyota Sienna
2003-2006 Toyota Tundra
2006-2011 Toyota Yaris (Hatchback)
2007-2012 Toyota Yaris (Sedan)
2005-2008 Audi A4 Avant
2007-2009 Audi A4 Cabriolet
2005-2008 Audi A4 Sedan
2010-2012 Audi A5 Cabriolet
2006-2011 Audi A6 Avant
2005-2011 Audi A6 Sedan
2009-2012 Audi Q5
2017 Audi R8
2008 Audi RS 4 Cabriolet
2007-2008 Audi RS 4 Sedan
2005-2008 Audi S4 Avant
2007-2009 Audi S4 Cabriolet
2005-2008 Audi S4 Sedan
2010-2012 Audi S5 Cabriolet
2007-2011 Audi S6 Sedan
2016-2017 Audi TT
2010-2014 Volkswagen Eos
2010-2014 Volkswagen Golf
2013 Volkswagen Golf R
2009-2013 Volkswagen GTI
2012-2014 Volkswagen Passat
2006-2010 Volkswagen Passat Sedan
2006-2010 Volkswagen Passat Wagon
Is my Takata Airbag Recall Vehicle 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 for 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 January 8, 2020, 70 million Takata airbags have been recalled. 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.
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.
It is extremely important to contact a Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm right away to schedule your free consultation.