The Takata airbag recall has been noted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as the “largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.” 14 different auto makers have been impacted, with cars from 2002 to 2015 being subject to the recall. The airbag’s inflators have a defect which can cause the airbags to shoot out shrapnel which can injure passengers or drivers. Hot weather, humidity, and a car’s age can make the inflators more unstable, making it more likely that the airbag can be deadly. According to CBS Denver, 70 million vehicles have been recalled. Ten people have died as a result of the defect and many others have been injured.
Despite the seriousness of the recall and the danger the airbags pose, many people may be driving vehicles without being aware that their cars are affected. Overwhelmed car manufacturers have had some difficulty repairing vehicles and keeping up with demand for repairs and parts. Some car owners have told reporters that their vehicle’s repairs are scheduled far into the summer. Owners are put in the tough position of having to decide between having a mode of transportation or being safe.
Used vehicle owners may also not receive manufacturer’s recall information. Used car dealerships are not required by law to inform used car buyers when a car is subject to a recall. The best way to see whether your car is affected is to check your car’s VIN number against the NHTSA’s database. The Safe Car Website offers car owners and renters a place where they can determine if their cars are affected by the recall.
According to the New York Times, the state of Hawaii isn’t taking the Takata recall lightly. The state sued Takata, claiming that the manufacturer intentionally covered up the defects. Hawaii is seeking $10,000 for each defective car owned in Hawaii. The state is currently the first to sue an automaker for the recall. Hawaii is also asking Honda and Takata to compensate car owners for repair costs, lost value of their cars, and for any other damages caused by the defective airbag. It is important to note that this suit doesn’t include personal injury or wrongful death damages, and it’s possible that car owners or injured drivers may seek damages separately.
Will other states follow suit? It isn’t clear.
Hawaiians may be particularly affected due to the state’s heat levels and humidity, both known factors that can make the airbags more dangerous.
With so many cars on the road, individuals may have suffered injuries without being aware that their car was subject to a recall. Currently 100 people have been reported injured.
Takata currently faces many personal injury lawsuits and these numbers may grow. If you believe you may have suffered a personal injury or lost a loved one due to Takata’s defective airbags, a personal injury lawyer may be able to assist you in collecting damages. Stuart M. Nachbar, Esq. is a personal injury lawyer in Livingston NJ who may be able to help.
The situation continues to develop and it appears that Takata may face further legal sanctions in the coming weeks or months.
If you have been hurt or injured in New Jersey, contact Stuart Nachbar at 973-567-0954 or visit www.snanj.com today.