Japanese auto parts supplier Takata Corporation is finally admitting that its air bags are defective, and almost 34 million vehicles are now being recalled in America. This is the largest automotive recall to ever occur in our nation.
Takata Recall from November Expands
In November 2014, automakers issued nearly 8 million recall notices in the U.S. when it was determined that the Takata air bags were inflated with defective propellant. When air bags deploy in an accident, the defective propellant can force the bags to explode and send metal shrapnel flying through the front portion of the vehicle. As of May 2015, 6 people have been killed and more than 100 have been injured due to this defect.
Taking Responsibility for the Defect: Too Little, Too Late?
Lawsuits filed by U.S. drivers show that Takata may have known about the air bag defect as early as 2001; however, the company is just now admitting fault. The New York Times reports that in new filings with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), Takata “went beyond its previous statements that there had been some errors in manufacturing and admitted to flaws in the air bags’ design and components.”
The root cause of the defect is still unclear, but Takata, automakers, and other officials are trying to figure that out. In a press release, the NHTSA said their analysis and engineering reports from independent organizations show that moisture is likely a major contributor when it comes to the defect. It is thought that as moisture leaks into the defective inflators over a period of time, the structure of the chemical propellant can change, causing it to ignite too quickly in a crash.
Presently, it is not known which car models will be recalled. Over the next few days, as vehicles undergo more testing, it should become more clear. Honda, Chrysler, Nissan, and 7 other automakers have already recalled cars in the U.S. due to this defect.
Don’t Wait to Seek Legal Counsel
If you’ve been injured, or if a loved one was injured or killed in a car crash due to a faulty air bag, contact Sokolove Law for a free legal consultation. Your time to file a claim may be limited, so call now, you may be entitled to compensation.