EXPLODING TAKATA AIRBAGS STILL A SERIOUS THREAT
Contributed by Sean Keith, founding partner of Keith, Miller, Butler, Schneider & Pawlik, PLLC.
An ongoing danger to millions has been forgotten by some. But Takata airbags continue to injure drivers throughout the world. The company originally recalled 60 million airbags, but there have only been 30 million replaced, leaving millions of drivers at risk for catastrophic injury and death. Even less serious injuries have lasting effects and should be compensated by the automobile and airbag manufacturers. The airbags are particularly dangerous in hot and humid climates and in vehicles that have been on the road for more than five years.
Shockingly, one of the major problems currently is that the manufacturer, Takata, and automobile companies such as Honda, Toyota, Ford, and General Motors, are not manufacturing enough new airbags to replace the dangerous and defective airbags. The reason so many of these car manufacturers—including those that sell expensive vehicles like BMW, Cadillac, and Acura—used these in the first place was because the propellant that made the airblag deploy was 1/10th the price of other, safer propellants. The propellant used in the Takata airbags, ammonium nitrate, breaks down over a period of years exposing drivers to a ticking timebomb in their steering wheel in place of a safety device.
The average consumers, even those who have had their airbags replaced, often do not realize that many times an old Takata airbag is simply replaced by a new Takata airbag containing the same defect. The manufacturers are hoping that the cars go out of service before the next round of airbags break down. No feasible long-term fix has been announced.
Regardless, owners of affected vehicles should get their airbags checked and replaced if necessary. In particular, owners of the Ford Ranger or the similar Mazda B-series mini-truck should stop driving the vehicles immediately and get the airbags replaced. Consumers can determine whether their vehicle is on the recall list by going to the following link: https://www.safercar.gov/
If you or a family member has been injured from a burn, laceration, or other wound as a result of your airbag exploding, contact Sean Keith at 479-621-0006; www.nwacaraccidentattorney.com; or firstname.lastname@example.org. Sean has been recognized locally and nationally by Super Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and Best of the Best from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. With offices in Benton and Washington County, his practice stretches across Arkansas and around the country.
Update: Listen to this Inside Look At Legal for updated discussion on the Takata airbag recalls.