Daimler Trucks North America (Sterling Bullet):
Daimler Vans USA LLC (Sprinter):
When one company produces a defective part or product, it can affect products, customers, and companies throughout an industry—and even throughout the world. Takata Corporation is a Tokyo-based manufacturer of airbags that has supplied its product to a number of major auto manufacturers. The company is now at the center of accusations that its airbags include a potentially deadly defect. Victims are increasingly stepping forward with lawsuits that allege serious injuries as a result, and huge recalls have been initiated by automakers across the nation.
Serious injuries & deaths linked to exploding airbags.
While car airbags are designed to protect people in a crash, some airbags use a particular inflation propellant (ammonium nitrate) that can explode when the inflation mechanism is activated in an accident, especially if it has been exposed to temperature changes and moisture. When this happens, the explosion can spray metal pieces into the vehicle’s cabin area with a huge amount of force. Vehicle occupants, particularly those in the front seats, may be struck with this shrapnel and debris when the airbag deploys. Depending on the circumstances, victims may be at risk for any number of unpredictable injuries as a result of the defect.
Takata has supplied about a quarter of the airbags currently used in the United States, and the company has long-standing relationships with automakers around the world. At this point, at least 14 deaths and at over 100 injuries have been linked to the airbags, including:
- Punctured eye
- Jaw lacerations
- Stab-like injuries to the throat
- A severed carotid artery
- Other head and neck wounds
Takata's defective airbag recall is largest in US history.
In 2008, amid growing reports of injuries and death, Honda initiated the first recall of cars containing Takata airbags. Over the next few years, Honda expanded the recall to include more models. The Honda recalls were then followed by recalls from other automakers in 2013 and 2014, including Toyota, BMW, Mazda, and others. While the recalls were initially limited only to humid regions where the moisture may make the devices more prone to explosion, there was a strong push to extend the recall nationwide as continuing deaths and injuries were linked to airbags. More victims stepped forward over time and with the publicity of the potential issue. At this point, some lawmakers also began calling for a criminal investigation of Takata.
In 2015, Takata admitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and automakers that its airbag inflators were defective. The recalls related to Takata airbags expanded to 34 million vehicles, making it the largest auto recall in history and one of the largest consumer recalls in all industries. Close to 100 million Takata airbags have already been declared unsafe around the world, and the problem is so widespread that replacement parts can’t be manufactured fast enough. In fact, so many vehicles are affected that it’s difficult for officials to even agree on a count at this point in time.
Takata's quest to save money on airbags put tens of millions of drivers at risk.
Several of the automakers involved in the current recalls have stated that they were unaware of the dangers at the time they adopted Takata’s airbags. However, according to The New York Times, the dangers of airbags that use ammonium nitrate have been suspected since the 1990s. So how did a potentially deadly part end up in millions of vehicles?
By the latter half of the ‘90s, the Takata Corporation had developed a new airbag propelled by ammonium nitrate. The new airbag design would be cheaper for automakers by several dollars per unit. General Motors (GM) was one of the first companies that became very interested in the savings the new airbags could provide, prompting the company to essentially give an ultimatum to its previous supplier. The previous supplier, Autoliv, investigated the use of ammonium nitrate in airbag inflators, but refused to match Takata’s cheaper design because their scientists found that the component was potentially explosive.
Former suppliers for automakers were unable to develop a cost-effective alternative that negated the explosive potential of ammonium nitrate. Despite Autoliv’s warnings and other existing evidence of the risks, GM—and several other major automakers—eventually made the switch to Takata’s cheaper airbags.
If you have not been injured by a defective airbag, you should contact your dealer and have your airbag replaced.
The U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, issued a statement saying, "Folks should not drive these vehicles unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired immediately, free of charge." You should contact your dealership right away if your car is on the recall list and you have not been injured. The dealer will let you know how soon the airbag can be replaced, free of charge. Repairs conducted because of the recall will be free, but if the mechanics discover any other problems during the service that aren't covered by your warranty, you will be responsible for paying for those repairs.
This list is an accurate reference list only. If your car is not on this list and you would like to know if its defective, either contact your dealer or look up your car using your VIN number on the NHTSA's website.
We are not able to answer inquiries about whether a particular vehicle is on the recall list. We can only answer inquiries if you or a loved one were injured in a vehicle with a defective Takata airbag.
If you have been injured by a defective airbag and your vehicle is on the Takata airbag recall list, you may be able to file a lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an exploding airbag, review the list of vehicles affected by the nationwide Takata recall, to know whether or not you may have a lawsuit against the airbag manufacturer. If you are concerned about your safety, but your car is not listed on this page, please contact your car dealer to discuss the matter further.
If you were injured in a car wreck where the airbag did not deploy, check the list below to see if your car is on it. If it is on the list of cars with the recalled airbags, you should consult with an attorney to find out if you can pursue a defective products case against Takata. If your car is not on the list and you were seriously injured or a loved one was killed, you should still consult with a lawyer right away. You might still be able to pursue a lawsuit to be compensated for your injuries.
Victims of exploding Takata airbags need the best legal representation.
If your car is included in the list of recalled vehicles and you've been injured by your airbag, you should talk to an attorney immediately. You need an attorney who has handled defective products cases against massive manufacturers to help you investigate the cause of your accident and determine if a defective Takata airbag contributed to your injuries.
Contact VB Attorneys today to discuss your case by calling 877.724.7800 or by filling out a contact form on this page.