Takata airbag deaths and injuries are still occurring despite the ongoing recall that started over a decade ago, with automakers across the world forced to recall more than 100 million vehicles due to faulty airbag inflators. This issue has caused numerous fatalities and injuries, and it is critical for vehicle owners to check if their car is affected by the recall and take the necessary steps to ensure their safety.
What is the Takata Airbag Recall?
The Takata airbag recall began in 2008 when reports of faulty airbag inflators started emerging. The Takata inflators were found to be defective due to the use of ammonium nitrate as the propellant, which can degrade over time and cause the inflator to rupture upon deployment, sending shrapnel flying into the cabin of the vehicle.
The faulty inflators have been linked to at least 30 deaths worldwide, including 26 in the United States, and hundreds of injuries. In order to try to prevent Takata airbag deaths and injuries, automakers have been forced to recall millions of vehicles.
The Latest Takata Airbag Deaths and Injuries
One of the most recent Takata airbag deaths occurred in May 2023 when a driver was killed in a collision involving a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The passenger-side airbag inflator deployed and caused fatal injuries to the driver. The vehicle was one of the 385,686 recalled by Stellantis in 2015, but an estimated 29,000 of these vehicles are still on the road and have not been repaired.
Stellantis has issued a “Do Not Drive” warning for the affected vehicles and urged owners to contact their local dealership to schedule a free repair. The company has sent multiple recall notices to the owner of the vehicle involved in the fatal crash, but they went unanswered.
Understanding the Data
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for overseeing the Takata airbag recall and reporting Takata airbag deaths and injuries, and they provide data on completion rates to help vehicle owners understand the progress being made in replacing the affected airbags.
The recalls are phased based on the age and location of the vehicles, with the oldest and highest-risk vehicles being the priority group. The completion rates vary by automaker, and the data is updated regularly as repairs are made and new recalls are launched.
Checking for Recalls
It is essential for vehicle owners to check if their car is affected by the Takata airbag recall and take the necessary steps to ensure their safety. The NHTSA provides a Recall Lookup Tool that allows owners to check their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for any open safety recalls, including the urgent Takata recall.
Additionally, owners can download the SaferCar app to automatically check for any recalls on their vehicles. If a recall is identified, owners should contact their automaker’s local dealership to schedule the free recall repair.
Takata Airbag Lawsuits
Takata airbag deaths and injuries resulted in numerous lawsuits against the automakers and Takata. The lawsuits allege that the automakers were aware of the defects in the airbag inflators but failed to take appropriate action, resulting in many Takata airbag deaths and injuries
Takata has faced significant legal action as well, including a $1 billion settlement with the US government in 2017 and a $650 million settlement with automakers in 2020. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and was later acquired by Key Safety Systems, which rebranded as Joyson Safety Systems.
The Future of Airbag Safety
The Takata airbag recall has highlighted the importance of airbag safety and the need for proper testing and regulation to ensure that defective products do not make it to the market. Automakers have been working to develop new airbag technologies to improve safety, including the use of sensors to detect the size and weight of the occupant and adjust the airbag’s deployment accordingly.
The NHTSA has also been working to develop new regulations and testing standards to improve airbag safety. However, it is ultimately up to the automakers to ensure that their vehicles are safe and free from defects.
The Takata airbag recall has been a tragic reminder of the importance of vehicle safety and the need for proper testing and regulation. It is critical for vehicle owners to check if their car is affected by the recall and take the necessary steps to ensure their safety. Automakers and regulators must continue to work together to improve airbag safety and prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
Safety experts say even slight collisions can cause the defective airbags to inflate with the potential to explode and cause injury and death – especially in older model vehicles. If you’ve been injured by a defective product, or someone else’s negligence, an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm may be able to help you recover your losses. Call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.