What if the airbags in your car didn’t protect you, but instead made your car potentially more dangerous?
The Takata airbags installed in many early to mid-2000s vehicles from Honda, Toyota, Ford, Mazda, and others are potentially deadly. When these airbags deploy during an accident, they can shoot deadly metal shrapnel at the driver and passengers. This explosive malfunction has already occurred thousands of times, leading to massive recalls for years, and has caused caused permanent scarring, vision loss, and multiple deaths among vehicle occupants around the world.
Regulators and investigators believe that this malfunction is caused by the chemical propellant ammonium nitrate, which becomes unstable over time, and is prone to violently exploding upon airbag deployment.
Despite the recent bankruptcy of Takata’s US based subsidiary, TK Holdings, Inc., there are three potential avenues for Takata airbag victims and future claimants to recover compensation for their Takata airbag injuries. Some victims may only be able to recover compensation through one avenue, while others may be able to claim compensation from all three. The avenues for compensation are:
Takata Airbag Individual Restitution Fund: This fund was ordered by the Federal Court in the Eastern District of Michigan as a result of TK Holdings, Inc.’s criminal guilty plea for fraud. The fund contains in excess of $125 million for people who have suffered or will suffer personal injury or wrongful death due to a defective Takata airbag inflator and who have not previously resolved their claims against Takata.
Takata Bankruptcy Trust: This trust was created as part of TK Holdings, Inc. bankruptcy plan for the benefit of personal injury claimants. The trust is for those previously injured by a Takata airbag and for future victims. The fund’s estimated value is $90 million to $137 million, although that amount may increase, but will not decrease. The trust should begin accepting claims in approximately mid-2018.
Participant Original Equipment Manufacturer (“POEM”) Fund: So far, only those individuals who have been injured by a Takata airbag within a Honda or Acura vehicle are eligible for compensation from this fund (as Honda vehicles caused more injuries and deaths than any of the other car manufacturers combined). However, on October 10, 2019 Nissan North America, Inc., Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and all of their subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively “Nissan”) elected to opt-in to the Channeling Injunction process for PSAN PI/WD Claims and become a POEM. This approval for Nissan’s opt-in as a POEM is ongoing. Through this fund, those previously injured by a defective Takata airbag and those victims who will suffer injuries from a Takata airbag may receive compensation.
These airbags were installed in a wide range of vehicles, including models manufactured by:
If you or someone you know sustained lacerations that required stitches, or suffered from the following: a brain injury, broken bones or a skull fracture, loss of vision, nerve damage, or death from an airbag, do not hesitate to contact us today. Our lawyers may be able to hold Takata and the auto manufacturers accountable for medical bills, pain and suffering and other losses. Call us today for a free, no-obligation case review.
Morgan & Morgan in Leadership Role
Morgan & Morgan attorney Andrew Parker Felix, Esq. is one of three members for the Trust Advisory Committee (“TAC”). The TAC represents the interests of current and future Takata victims. Mr. Felix was appointed by federal bankruptcy judge, The Honorable Brendan L. Shannon, to represent the interests of all individuals with current and future personal injury and wrongful death claims related to a Takata airbag.