This afternoon Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced an expansion of the number of vehicles recalled for defective airbags. Previously, approximately 16 million vehicles were voluntarily recalled by manufacturers due to defective Takata airbags. Today, Foxx and the NHTSA announced that Takata agreed to expand the recall to include almost 34 million vehicles and admit for the first time that their airbags are defective.
We first blogged about this issue last summer, after our client Corey Burdick was blinded in one eye when his airbag exploded and sent a piece of steel shrapnel into his face. Today’s announcement was a surprising step in the right direction. The expanded recall marks a victory for consumer protection – but this last chapter of the story raises more questions than it answers. Some of the unanswered questions include:
- Why 34 million?
- What’s the root cause?
- Are the replacement airbags safe?
- What should consumers do if their local dealer can’t replace their defective bags because they don’t have replacement parts?
Hopefully, as we begin taking corporate representative depositions this summer on behalf of Corey Burdick and our other six injured clients who have cases against Takata, we’ll have the chance to answer some of these questions.