Millions of Americans are driving cars with defective airbags, made by Japan-based Takata, that when deployed in even minor collisions could shoot metal shrapnel at drivers and passengers.
The defective airbags have killed at least 16 people — including a 17-year-old Texas girl involved in a minor accident — and have injured at least 100 more, according to the New York Times. The airbag is supposed to be a safety feature, but the metal pieces that could shoot out because of the defect are putting people in a very unsafe situation.
So far, several auto makers have recalled at least 28 million airbag inflaters, the metal casing that contains propellant ammonium nitrate, in about 34 million vehicles, making it the largest auto recall ever, according to the Times. Though, as the article says, there are millions more vehicles with Takata-made airbag inflaters that have not yet been recalled.
The ammonium nitrate that Takata uses to inflate their airbags during deployment, becomes unstable over time or when exposed to moisture. Chemical instability causes the violent eruption during airbag deployment that shatters the airbag inflator, shooting out dangerous shrapnel.
To learn which vehicles are among the millions of those recalled and what to do next, please read the information below.
Affected vehicles include various models made by:
If you or someone you know had to get stitches because they were cut in an accident involving a deployed airbag, do not hesitate to contact us today. Our lawyers may be able to help you hold the company responsible for medical bills, pain and suffering and other losses. To discuss your legal options with someone at our law firm, call 877-667-4265 or fill out this form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
What’s the Problem with the Airbags?
Over time, the propellant responsible for triggering inflation during a crash can deteriorate or become unstable, especially in states with high levels of humidity, such as Florida and Hawaii, according to the recalls.
In the event of a crash, the unstable propellant can break the metal inflators in the airbags and shoot metal pieces or shrapnel (see Figure 1) into the vehicle’s cabin, putting drivers and passengers at risk of serious injuries or death.
How Do I Know if My Vehicle Has Takata Airbags?
You can also check to see if your vehicle is subject to the recall by entering your VIN here.
If your vehicle is on this list and you or a loved one was seriously injured after the airbags deployed, you may be able to file a lawsuit against Takata.
How Can a Lawsuit Help?
By filing a lawsuit, you may be able to collect compensation for any losses stemming from your injuries. For instance, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Special accommodations, such as home health care aides
- Pain and suffering
If you are acting on behalf of a loved one who suffered fatal injuries from a Takata airbag, you and your family may be entitled to additional compensation for:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of companionship or consortium (marital benefits)
- Loss of support and services
Although a number of lawsuits have already been filed on behalf of people who lost loved ones to Takata airbag injuries, the outcomes in many of these cases remain confidential. However, in one publicized settlement, Takata agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of a woman who was killed after the airbags in her Honda Accord exploded during an accident.
Each case is different, however, and the type and amount of compensation you could recover will vary depending on a number of factors, including your relationship to the deceased.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
Our attorneys only collect a fee if they successfully resolve your case. If so, they will receive a portion of the final settlement or jury verdict.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries requiring stitches after your vehicle’s airbag deployed, don’t hesitate to contact us today. It’s important that you speak with a class action attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your legal rights are protected and you don’t lose your right to sue. For more information, call us at 877-667-4265 or fill out this form.