Takata Corporation, a Japanese air bag maker that is already dealing with the largest automotive recall in the history of the United States, may need to recall as many as 85 million vehicles if the company cannot prove that its products are safe for use. Nearly 29 million vehicles containing Takata air bags have already been recalled because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined that minor car crashes and fender-benders can cause the air bags to deploy with excessive force, spraying metal shards inside the motor vehicles and seriously injuring, or killing, drivers and passengers.
The most recent death involving a Takata airbag happened last month when a teenage driver died after a fender-bender in Texas. Following the accident, the Fort Bend County (TX) sheriff said that the air bag explosion was “like a shotgun blast penetrating,” resulting in the teen driver being struck in the back by a shard of metal and dying almost instantly. Prior to the car crash, the vehicle, a 2002 Honda Civic, was reportedly traveling at just 15 miles per hour. Beyond that, the sheriff said that police found the victim’s cell phone in the car’s cup holder, indicating that this was probably not a distracted driving accident.
In addition to the fatal accidents involving faulty Takata air bags, in excess of 100 people have been seriously injured by the defective air bag inflators in the past few years.
Depending on the circumstances, Takata could be exposed to significant liability in product liability lawsuits going forward. If the company is found to be solely responsible for the fatal accidents involving the defective air bag inflators, they may be on the hook for millions of dollars in damages.
For more information, check out the CBSNews.com article, “85M More U.S. Vehicles Could Face Takata Airbag Recall.”
If you or a loved one sustained an injury as a result of a faulty product, you need a qualified product liability and personal injury lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve. The experienced NJ product liability and personal injury attorneys at Andres & Berger can help you get maximum compensation for your injuries or loss. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.