Faulty airbags in millions of vehicles have resulted in the largest auto recall in U.S. history. Takata, a Japanese manufacturer of airbags, increased their airbag recall to 34 million vehicles this week. The airbags are exploding too forcefully when deployed, sending shards of metal flying that can seriously injure the driver and front seat passenger. According to Reuters, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Michigan are all investigating Takata’s handling of the recall.
The faulty airbags are linked to six deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide. Most of the recalled vehicles were made by Honda, but many other automakers are affected by the airbag recall as well. In a statement given to CNN, Mark Rosekind, administrator of the NHTSA, said he could not even definitely say if the airbags being installed in the recalled cars are totally safe, but he feels they are safer than the existing airbags.
The move by the NHTSA to have Takata increase the recall will expand regional recalls of the Takata passenger-side airbags, which were previously limited to high humidity areas. They are also expanding the nationwide recall of driver-side airbags. An NHTSA analysis of airbag test results suggested that moisture is infiltrating the defective airbags over extended periods of time and leading to a problem with the chemical propellant. This could be why we are seeing many problems in areas with high humidity. As a result, the airbag housing ruptures during a crash, sending pieces of metal flying throughout the vehicle.
With the expanded recall due to faulty airbags, it is sure to affect many vehicles in the Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre areas and throughout the state of Pennsylvania. The recall is expected to involve 11 automakers. The defective airbags have been found in a variety of vehicles, from sports utility to cars and also trucks.
How do I know if my car is being recalled for defective airbags?
If your vehicle is one of the 34 million being recalled, you should receive a notice from your automaker. You can also call your dealer. The NHTSA has also put up a web page with up to date information and also a VIN search tool to check to see if your vehicle is being recalled.
The injuries resulting from the faulty airbags can be severe and include facial fractures, blindness, severe lacerations, quadriplegia, and death. Until this week, Takata refused to acknowledge that its airbag inflators were defective. They said the problem was limited to regions with high humidity. The Detroit News reported that the airbag recall covers more than 13% of all cars and trucks on the road in the U.S.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a crash due to a defective airbag or in any type of crash, call the airbag lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli. For a free consultation to discuss your injuries, call a Philadelphia airbag injury lawyer at 215-575-9237 or a Wilkes-Barre airbag injury lawyer at 570-714-HURT.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.