The biggest thing you need to know about the Takata airbag recall and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) is that you can look up whether your vehicle is under recall. If you are unsure whether your vehicle is part of the Takata airbag recall, you should look up your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the NHSTA website. Get the recall repairs immediately if the recall applies to your vehicle. Our website also has an airbag recall VIN lookup tool that you can use to check your vehicle.
Takata airbags may rupture upon deployment, sending dangerous metal fragments toward your head and body. There have been reports of serious injuries and deaths from around the world that involved Takata airbags. Recall notices arrive through the mail, but they are not always sent promptly. Some people never receive the recall notices and are unaware that their vehicles may contain Takata airbags.
What If Your Vehicle Is Part of a Recall?
Contact your local dealership to schedule the recall pairs right away. The dealer must replace your airbags at no cost to you.
Some vehicles may not be safe to drive until your dealer completes the recall repairs. The NHSTA has specifically listed certain 2001 to 2003 Honda and Acura vehicles as having a higher risk of rupture during airbag deployment. If you own one of these vehicles, do not drive unless you are going to the dealership to get your recall repairs.
Contact your automaker to ask whether it is safe to drive your vehicle before getting the recall repairs.
How Takata Airbag Injuries Happen
Takata airbag injuries have occurred around the world and the United States, so far causing 15 deaths in the U.S. and eight in other countries. Many of these incidents involve minor fender-benders or low-speed crashes.
These types of incidents typically do not cause major injuries if the airbag deploys properly. Drivers and passengers may have some minor physical trauma, but most likely would have walked away from these collisions.
Exploding metal fragments have hit vehicle occupants in the face, neck, and body. This has led to serious injuries. One such injury involved Corey Burdick of Florida, whose Takata airbag exploded with metal fragments hitting him in the face. The incident has left him permanently blind in one eye.
Although the danger has received widespread publicity, many vehicles remain on the road that have not received the recall repairs, in part because of outdated methods for locating and notifying consumers of a recall.
Many of the Takata airbag incidents have happened in states with hot and humid climates. This is because the metal inflators inside the airbag contain a chemical called ammonium nitrate, which degrades when exposed to moisture, causing a potentially lethal airbag explosion.
Legal Remedies for Consumers
Your legal remedies will depend on whether you owned a vehicle with a Takata airbag and if the airbag caused you actual injuries.
In addition to free replacements, several automakers have agreed to cover some incidental costs related to the repairs, such as the cost of a rental vehicle. Consumers who owned or leased vehicles containing Takata airbags may receive part of a class action settlement for their inconvenience.
If your airbag deployed improperly and caused you or a loved one serious injury or death, the class action settlement will not compensate you for your injuries. You would have to file a product liability lawsuit to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
How Do You Know If a Takata Airbag Defect Caused Your Injuries?
Product liability lawsuits are complex. They often require several different kinds of experts to prove your case. One of these experts is usually an accident reconstructionist who will attempt to recreate the crash that caused your injuries.
Some of the reported cases of Takata airbag injuries involved victims who appeared shot or stabbed. The metal shrapnel struck the passengers with such great force that it left large gashes in their faces or necks.
If you or a loved one experienced these types of injuries, it may be due to an airbag defect. Our product liability attorneys can listen to the details of your incident during an initial consultation. If your airbag malfunctioned during deployment, we may be able to help you seek compensation.
Get Advice from a Product Liability Attorney
Explain the facts of your incident to a product liability attorney during a one-on-one case evaluation. We will conduct a thorough review of your case and advise you of your legal options. If you have a claim to seek compensation, we can represent you throughout the litigation process.