Drivers and passengers have suffered injuries caused by metal shards that forcefully explode from defective Takata airbags during deployment. The shrapnel has penetrated victims’ faces and necks, causing severe fatal injuries.
Some of the injuries reportedly attributed to Takata airbag explosions include:
- Large wounds
- Severe lacerations
- Eye injuries
- Torn arteries
- Skull fractures
- Bleeding on the brain
- Injuries resembling stab or gunshot wounds
Victims may require emergency surgery, long-term medical care, and even reconstructive surgery to repair facial trauma. Some of these injuries have been fatal. As of February 2018, 24 deaths are attributed to Takata airbags worldwide, per media reports. These incidents have occurred throughout the United States and in other countries.
Police Thought Driver Was “Shot in the Face”
When police arrived at the scene of a crash in Alhambra, California, in September 2013, they initially believed the driver had been shot in the face, according to a CNNMoney article. The car hit a building in the parking lot of the driver’s place of employment.
When the airbag of the 2002 Acura TL deployed, police reports indicate that it sent exploding shrapnel into the driver’s face, causing his death.
Metal Shrapnel Tore Driver’s Carotid Artery
The same report by CNNMoney tells the story of Kristy Williams, who was driving a 2001 Honda Civic. The Takata airbag allegedly deployed without cause, tearing into Ms. Williams’s carotid artery. She survived the incident by applying pressure to the wound but has suffered from lasting complications due to her injury.
Police Initially Investigated Accident as a Homicide
The Orange County Sherriff’s Office initially investigated an Orlando woman’s September 2014 car accident as a homicide because her injuries appeared to be stab wounds, reports the New York Times.
The woman was turning left on a green light when another vehicle struck hers in the intersection. The airbag deployed and the inflator exploded, shooting metal fragments into the passenger compartment. The woman suffered injuries on her face, neck, and upper chest.
Driver “Would Have Survived” If Not for Faulty Airbags
A 17-year-old girl in Texas died from an exploding airbag in April 2016, according to a CNBC report. Her 2002 Honda Civic rear-ended another vehicle. The airbags deployed, and exploding metal shards hit the driver’s neck, killing her. CNBC reported that the crash was moderate, and the girl would have likely survived if not for the defective airbag.
Woman Suffered Gaping Wound, Brain Bleed, and Skull Fracture
Another crash occurred in Florida, when exploding pieces of metal from a Takata airbag struck a driver’s head, causing a 6-by-3-inch wound to her temple, a brain bleed, and a skull fracture, reports the Associated Press. The driver was pronounced dead shortly after the crash, and officials said she should have survived if not for the defective airbag.
The Massive Takata Airbag Recall
Takata airbags are subject to the largest recall in U.S. history. The cause of the defect is the use of ammonium nitrate in the airbag inflator, which can degrade over time. This degradation can cause the airbag inflator to explode, propelling metal debris toward vehicle occupants.
To see if your vehicle is subject to recall, visit our Takata recall page and enter your VIN into our lookup tool. If it is, get the necessary repairs right away.
Request a Consultation
Newsome Melton handles complex product liability cases. If you believe you suffered injuries due to a defective airbag, call us. We offer a free consultation to Takata victims where we will analyze your case and explain your legal options.
Call 888-808-5977 now to schedule your no-obligation consultation.