A Texas teenager died recently following a minor car accident, when her 2002 Honda Civic's Takata-made airbag ejected metal shrapnel at her upon deployment and put her in the hospital. The 17-year-old’s death raises questions for those whose children are driving Honda vehicles that might be a part of the 34 million vehicles that have the recalled airbags.
As of October 2016, 16 deaths and over 100 injuries have been attributed to Takata airbags, and more than 60 million airbags have a defect. 28 million airbags are recalled in the U.S. and the recall will potentially expand to even more manufacturers.
Our firm is currently filing lawsuits on behalf of people cut by shrapnel ejected when their Takata airbags were deployed, and had to get stitches. Many victims do not realize that their cuts were actually caused by Takata’s defective airbags, not their accident. If you or someone you know was involved in a car accident in which the airbags were deployed and laceration injuries were sustained that required stitches, please contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a claim.
Here are five questions to consider:
Who Do I Call to Find Out If My Child’s Car Has a Takata Airbag?
You should call your local Honda dealership. After you and the agent determine that your child’s car needs a new airbag, you need to schedule an appointment with your local Honda dealership to bring in the car to get the airbag replaced.
The process can take 30-45 minutes, according to Honda, but there are other things to consider. First, there is the commute time to and from the dealership. Your family might need to move around their schedule to accommodate the recall appointment. What starts as less than an hour can become a several-hour adventure.
What is the Impact of the Takata Recall on My Car Insurance?
If your teen’s car has a recalled airbag, you might be wondering what the impact will be on your insurance coverage and premiums. Generally, if you act fast to get your car repaired after a recall, it shouldn't have an impact on your car insurance, according to US News. To cover your bases, though, you might want to provide your car insurer with documentation that the pertinent repairs were made.
To be on the safe side, you will need to call your insurance company to speak with an insurance agent who can provide some insight.
Is My Health Insurance Coverage Adequate?
Another thing to look into is what kind of health insurance coverage you have for your family members. Some health insurance polices don't cover automobile accidents, while others won't start paying for medical costs until after the policy holder's motor vehicle insurance has paid its share. Some plans, however, have no exclusions for motor vehicle accidents.
Call your provider and discuss with them what is covered in the event your teen needs to be hospitalized because of injuries from a faulty Takata airbag.
Should I Sell the Car?
After addressing safety issues, there is still the question of the car’s value. What if down the road you want to sell the car and give the money to your child? Or what if you’d like to include the car as part of a trade-in when buying a new one? Does the new, presumably safe airbag drive down the car’s value?
One way to answer this question is to consider the services of a third-party assessor. Typically, that person will take some time to examine a vehicle thoroughly in order to determine the car’s value. A process like this can take a few hours and cost some money, but it can provide some clarity into what to expect when the time comes to get a new car.
For service providers like CarMax, the process of assessment involves a test drive, followed by a thorough inspection that takes into account everything from the year, mileage, make, and model of the vehicle to its options and features, its external and internal condition, and its vehicle history report and current market conditions.
What If My Child or I Have Already Been Injured by a Takata Airbag?
The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are currently filing lawsuits on behalf of individuals injured by Takata’s defective airbags. Some victims of Takata’s airbags do not realize their injuries were caused by shooting shrapnel from the airbag, though. If you or a loved one were in a car accident that required you to get stitches, keep in mind that the cuts may have been caused by shrapnel from the airbag, not the accident.
Those injuries were preventable, and if you would like to hold the company allegedly responsible for your, or your loved one's injuries accountable, fill out a free, no obligation case evaluation form to find out if you are eligible to file a lawsuit.