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Dangerous Takata Airbags: An Update

By:  Barry D. Rooth

Just over a month ago I wrote about the The Takata Company in Japan.  There is a good chance they made the airbags in your car.  For years there have been recalls of Takata airbags that have the potential to explode and injure or kill riders in vehicles.   This situation is much worse than first thought.

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This week, NBC News reported that a recalled airbag was blamed for yet another death. This time it was a teenage driver in Texas, the latest fatality involving a Takata airbag.

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Motorists are urged to immediately check this web site from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to see if their vehicle is included in the recall of these airbags.  http://www.safercar.gov/rs/takata/takatalist.html

Takata inflators can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel at drivers and passengers. They’re responsible for at least 11 deaths worldwide and more than 100 injuries. So far 14 automakers have recalled 24 million U.S. vehicles with Takata inflators in what is now the largest auto recall in the country’s history. About 7.1 million inflators have been replaced, and NHTSA has said the recalls almost certainly will grow larger.

Here’s an  irony.  A family car owned by the nation’s top auto safety regulator’s family has been recalled to fix a faulty Takata airbag, but like millions of others, he’s waiting for parts to make the repair.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Mark Rosekind said in mid-March that a car normally driven by his wife was recalled to fix an airbag inflator. When she checked the vehicle identification number in a recall database, she found there were no replacement inflators available, Rosekind said.

Rosekind wouldn’t identify the type of car, but he said the family is fortunate to have another vehicle for his wife to drive in California, where she lives. The agency has taken over management of the recalls and is sending replacement parts to older vehicles and to those in high humidity areas along the Gulf Coast.

Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion and fill the airbags in a crash. But tests have shown that the chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to high temperatures and humidity.

The recall has helped him know what people are going through trying to get the cars fixed and facing potential danger from the inflators, Rosekind said. The family has been working with a dealership that it has used for a long time and is seeking a loaner car, he said.

“I now have that personal experience to be able to deal with it and see how we can push,” he said. “It is a source of information that probably typically is not available to an administrator facing something like this.”

Rosekind said he’s not getting special treatment, though, and the car is going to be fixed at the “appropriate time.”

It is important to check with your automaker to determine if your own vehicle is part of the millions being recalled due to a possible malfunctioning airbag manufactured by Takata.

The first place to call if you suspect you are the victim of a faulty product due to the irresponsibility of any individual or a giant corporation is to call us at Theodoros & Rooth.

We will listen carefully to the details of your case and, if we believe you’ve been injured by the fault of another, we will fight aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve.  It costs you nothing for a consultation with the lawyers at Theodoros & Rooth and there are no attorney fees unless we settle your case or win at trial.

 

Part of this article is taken from an Associated Press report