Takata Corporation, the Japanese airbag manufacturer, supplies approximately 20% of all vehicle manufacturers with its product. Now, seven automakers are investigating models fitted with Takata airbags over concerns their deployment can injure or kill passengers.
On Monday, June 23, Honda, Nissan and Mazda recalled nearly 3 million vehicles, in total, because of reports that airbags in certain vehicle models may be defective.
The airbags in question were manufactured at factories in the United States and Mexico between 2000 and 2002. In its official recall notice, Honda claimed these flawed airbags could send shards of metal and debris flying at vehicle occupants upon deployment.
In Takata’s most recent press release, the company claims regions with excessive heat and humidity may be more at risk of the defect.
Currently, Mazda, Nissan, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, and Toyota are recalling models only in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, though Honda is expanding this recall to include Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas.
Honda is recalling 2.06 million vehicles globally, while Nissan and Mazda will be expanding on earlier recalls, calling back 755,000 and 159,807 vehicles respectively, worldwide.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it will continue investigations into the Takata airbags.
“Based on the limited data available at this time, NHTSA supports efforts by automakers to address the immediate risk in areas that have consistently hot, humid conditions over extended periods of time,” NHTSA said in a statement.
A Honda spokesman said the company was aware of more than 30 injuries and two deaths in the United States related to all the Takata airbags.
For those who’ve been affected the consequences were devastating.
One such case is that of Kristy Williams, who, in 2010, was severely injured when her airbag deployed while she was stopped at a light in her 2001 Honda Civic.
Williams was hit in the neck and carotid artery when the airbag exploded and suffered strokes and seizures in the years following.
Honda settled with Williams for an undisclosed amount and noted that hers was one of the 30 incidents it considered as a catalyst for the recall.
If you or someone you love has been hurt by a defective vehicle, consider contacting a product liability attorney at The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm for a free case review.
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