The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded on Thursday, October 20th that a recent car crash in Riverside County, California was fatal due to yet another defective airbag deployment. Takata airbags, the Japanese brand of airbag installed in nearly every major brand of vehicle on the road, has been named the cause of death in now 11 car crashes on U.S. roadways and responsible for more than 100 injuries.
Instead of softening the impact of a crash, the airbags have been known to explode and deploy metal shrapnel into the bodies of persons inside the vehicle. First responders arriving on scene of a crash have reported the bodies of passengers appearing to have been shot or stabbed.
Takata’s most recent victim was a 50-yeard-old woman traveling east of Los Angeles on Friday, September 30. She was killed when her 2001 Honda Civic crashed and the airbag deployed incorrectly. Her vehicle had been recalled in 2008, but records show the repair was never completed. The Honda Civic was announced by federal regulators as a vehicle that people should stop driving immediately because of the risk of defective airbags was so great. Most individuals who have died because of a malfunctioning airbag have been drivers of Acura and Honda vehicles made in 2001, 2002, and 2003.
The Takata defect has led to the largest automobile recall in history. Nearly 70 million airbags have been or will be recalled as a result. This impacts 1 out of every 7 cars on American roads today. Millions of people will be forced to continue driving cars with potentially deadly airbags simply because there are not enough replacement airbags available to repair all of the effected vehicles until 2019. And according to a report by the U.S. Senate, new cars are still being built with Takata airbags.
The NHTSA has a website dedicated to the Takata recall with a database that allows you to enter your vehicle identification number, or VIN, to see if your car is included in the recall. However, this database is not yet complete. If you wish to learn more about the Takata airbag recall, the vehicles involved, or how airbags are supposed to work, contact Thomas Law Offices for more information.
If you or someone you love has been injured by airbags that improperly deployed, you may wish to know that taking legal action is one option you can consider. Doing so may make it possible to recover medical costs, loss of wage costs, and more. Thomas Law Offices is more than happy to pair you with a skilled and experienced Louisville, KY auto product liability lawyer who can help you through the process.