The recall for defective Takata airbags has recently been expanded to an additional 17 million vehicles in the U.S., bringing the total number of affected vehicles to 34 million. This expansion stemmed from a recent Consent Order the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued to Takata. As part of this order, Takata has:
- Officially acknowledged that its airbag inflators are defective
- Agreed to cooperate with all NHTSA regulatory actions necessary to investigate the airbag defects and oversee their recall.
The Problem with the Defective Takata Airbags
The Takata airbags at the center of this massive recall reportedly have defective airbag inflators, which contain a propellant that can degrade and, over time, rupture. These ruptures can result in:
- Airbags deploying without an impact or crash occurring.
- Small metal shards being hurled at the occupants of vehicles (much in the same way that shrapnel would be propelled).
Six people have reportedly died as a result of the defective Takata airbags.
While researchers are still trying to pinpoint the precise root cause of these malfunctions, there seems to be a consensus at this point that humidity increases the risk of rupture. As a result, regulators will likely prioritize their recall efforts to have vehicles in more humid regions of the U.S. fixed first.
Takata Airbag Recall: The Next Steps…
At this point, the NHTSA will initiate its formal process for organizing the recall. Given that this Takata airbag recall is expected to be one of the largest and most complex recalls in U.S. history, regulators at the NHTSA have already conducted some informal meetings and discussions with auto industry leaders in an effort to start coordinating the next steps.
“Today is a major step forward for public safety,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has noted in relation to this recall. “The Department of Transportation is taking the proactive steps necessary to ensure that defective inflators are replaced with safe ones as quickly as possible, and that the highest risks are addressed first. We will not stop our work until every air bag is replaced.”
St Louis Product Liability Lawyers at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law
Have you or a loved one been hurt by a dangerous or faulty product? If so, contact the St Louis product liability lawyers at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law for help pursuing justice and financial recovery.
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