Takata, the Japanese company that manufactures airbags for many major car companies recently announced that it would double the scope of its already large current recall. With this recall, Takata’s recall has become the largest in U.S. history.
According to USA Today, Takata had initially resisted issuing a expanded recall. With the expansion, the recall affects 33.8 million airbags and the vehicles in which they have been installed. The airbags have been found to deploy too violently during an accident, putting drivers and passengers at risk of personal injury. The violent airbag deployment has been found to spew shrapnel, plastic, and metal at victims. As of yet, six deaths and over 100 personal injuries have been linked to the defective airbags.
Initially, humidity was believed to be a major factor in the sometimes deadly airbag deployments. Because the southern states in the U.S. experience greater days with more humidity, the recalls had been mainly focused on drivers and cars located in southern states. Yet, the new, expanded recall spans to cover drivers in all states.
Every year, automotive recalls seem to get larger and larger, with one estimate suggesting that as many as one in seven cars currently on the road is subject to a recall. Yet, the number of cars on the road that are subject to recalls is only expected to increase. According to a senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book, the globalization of the auto industry makes larger-scale recalls like the one we’re currently seeing much more likely. Yet, as these large-scale automotive recalls become more expensive to automakers, consumers can likely see greater resistance from automakers in issuing recalls.
According to the New York Times, Takata repeatedly denied that its airbags were leading to serious personal injuries and deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also criticized lawmakers for not using higher standards when overseeing the safety of the automotive industry.
Unfortunately, when cars are defective, it is sometimes largely up to consumers to take action in order to set recalls into motion. Auto makers and their suppliers often have lists of known defects on their record and large companies often won’t issue a recall until they see a problematic pattern. This means that a component of a car might have to cause injuries or deaths several times or fail in testing repeatedly before the auto maker will move to make a recall.
Individuals who have suffered a personal injury as a result of a car’s airbag deployment or from other defective components might not realize that they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries from the automaker or even from the automaker’s suppliers. Not all defects in a car have been listed in official recall lists. Individuals who have been injured should seek the skilled counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your personal injury lawyer can review the details of your injury and determine the best course of action for your case. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino is a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota who will fight for your rights.