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Defective Airbag Lawsuit

courtIn recent history, airbags have become standard required safety equipment in all new automobiles and for most motorists, they reduce the risk of injury in a crash. But over 100 million vehicles worldwide are now included in what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is referring to as the largest safety recall in the auto industry’s history – all because of faulty air bags.

At the center of attention is airbag supplier Takata Corp.’s non-desiccated (i.e. without a chemical drying agent) frontal airbags with ammonium-nitrate inflators.

Ammonium nitrate is a chemical now known to be sensitive to temperature, humidity, and age. Other airbag manufacturers have abandoned it because it can be unstable but Takata has continued. Compounding the problem, flaws in Takata’s manufacturing process allow moisture into the airbag inflation device, triggering a rapid explosion of the ammonium nitrate that propels shrapnel into the passenger compartment. More than a dozen people have been killed, and over 100 more injured as a result.

The personal injury attorneys of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are dedicated to fighting for compensation for airbag injury victims throughout New York since 1952. Our diverse and highly-skilled attorneys operate on the conviction that “Your Rights Become Our Responsibility.”

How many cars have defective airbags?

With a May 2016 expansion of the Takata airbag recall, the number of affected vehicles may reach one out of every four travelling American roads.

A 2016 investigation by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has found that a shockingly high number of cars are still being sold with defective airbags despite the safety recall.

By March 2016, the percent of recalled vehicles that had been repaired nationwide spanned from .04% to 39.5% depending on vehicle manufacturer. Unfortunately, most of replacement airbag inflators that have been installed during recall repairs – numbering more than 4.5 million – are Takata ammonium-nitrate inflators and almost half of those are the same non-desiccated type that have been recalled. That means the replacements will again need to be replaced by the end of 2018.

Airbag recall

In November 2008, an initial recall was announced and the list of affected vehicles has continuously grown. A May 2016 expansion added approximately 35-40 million vehicles recalled in the United States. Shockingly, the non-desiccated ammonium nitrate Takata airbags at the center of the recall are not only still being produced but they are being installed on new vehicles as well as in recalled vehicles as replacements, despite reports that Takata manipulated data related to their safety testing.

Air bag recall list

The airbag recall list is ever growing but owners can search for up to date recall notifications for their vehicles on the NHTSA website.

Auto manufacturers now involved in the recall include:

  • Audi
  • BMW – Nearly 2 million affected vehicles
  • Chevrolet – Nearly 2 million including Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Saab, Saturn
  • Dodge – More than 5.6 million vehicles including Chrysler
  • Ferrari
  • Ford – Nearly 3 million vehicles including Lincoln and Mercury
  • Honda – Nearly 11 million including Acura
  • Infiniti
  • Jaguar
  • Jeep
  • Land Rover
  • Mazda
  • Mercedes-Benz – More than 1 million vehicles including Daimler
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan – More than 1 million vehicles including Infiniti
  • Pontiac
  • Saab
  • Saturn
  • Subaru
  • Toyota – More than 4.6 million including Lexus and Scion
  • Volkswagen

Airbag injuries

There have already been 14 Takata airbag deaths, with 10 of them taking place in the United States. In addition, over 100 people have been injured.

Takata airbag injuries are caused by metal projectiles launched toward the faces and upper bodies of automobile drivers and passengers. Police and other first responders to airbag deployment injuries have described them as resembling knife or gun wounds. Some of the reported injuries include shrapnel in the face and neck, and even a severed ear.

Who can file an airbag lawsuit?

Someone who has been injured by the rapid explosion of an airbag, or the loved ones of someone killed by a defective airbag, may be entitled to recover compensation through a defective airbag lawsuit. Injuries can also be caused by caused by an airbag failure to deploy. A product recall lawsuit may also be an option for someone injured because the airbag did not inflate in time to provide crash protection.

Airbag lawsuit settlements

In July 2016, Takata settled an airbag lawsuit with the family of Patricia Mincey, a woman rendered quadriplegic in an airbag misfire. The airbag reportedly initially failed to deploy but then inflated with such excessive force that it broke her back and paralyzed her from the neck down. The details of the settlement were not released by the parties.

The Mincey settlement was the most recent in a string of confidential settlements. Takata has settled a half dozen airbag injury lawsuits under undisclosed terms in recent years. Though the parties have not disclosed the settlement details, injury victims are generally entitled to recover reimbursement for medical bills and other financial losses like lost wages, as well as compensation for non-financial losses like pain and suffering.

Speak with a defective airbag attorney

The experienced product liability lawyers of Edelman, Krasin, & Jaye work tirelessly to protect victims affected by faulty airbags. We have recovered substantial compensation on behalf of clients who have been injured by dangerous products ranging from automobile defects to dangerous pharmaceuticals.

If you have been injured due to a defective airbag, contact Edelman, Krasin, & Jaye to learn how we can help you recover fair compensation for your losses. Please call us toll free at 800-469-7429.

Airbag failure lawsuit resources

  1. Car and Driver, Massive Takata Airbag Recall: Everything You Need to Know, Including Full List of Affected Vehicles, http://blog.caranddriver.com/massive-takata-airbag-recall-everything-you-need-to-know-including-full-list-of-affected-vehicles/
  2. Consumer Reports, Takata Airbag Recall – Everything You Need to Know, http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2016/05/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-takata-air-bag-recall/index.htm
  3. Reuters, Takata settles Florida air bag injury lawsuit, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-takata-idUSKCN0ZV23Y
  4. Reuters, Honda, Takata settle airbag suits, lose round in class action case, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-takata-honda-idUSKBN0TM31I20151203
  5. Bloomberg, Honda Audit Finds Takata Engineers Manipulated Air-Bag Test Data, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-18/honda-audit-finds-takata-engineers-manipulated-air-bag-test-data