Since February of this year (2016) we have written several articles about the faulty Takata airbags. The inflators in these Takata airbags are in danger of rupture and around 69 million of them have been recalled worldwide. Takata airbags have now killed 16 people internationally and 11 in the United States. Thousands more have been injured. We wonder how many people will have to die before this crisis is fully resolved.
With the most recent death being a California woman in early November (2016), reports say that owners of more than 300,000 Hondas have yet to get their airbags repaired, despite warnings from the automaker and regulators that the inflators have an extremely high chance of rupturing and causing injury or even death.
This summer, government regulators said testing showed that inflators in 313,000 older Hondas and Acuras had as high as a 50 percent chance of rupturing in a crash. The regulators told owners of the cars to stop driving them and get them repaired. But four months later, only 13,000 of the cars have been repaired.
In partial defense of Honda, the company has said that it has tried to reach owners through a variety of means, from U.S. mail, phone calls, and even some in-person visitors with owners.
Because many of these cars are from 10-15 years old, the owners have been hard to find as in many cases these vehicles have changed hands a number of times.
A recent report from Senator Bill Nelson, Florida, says Honda should do more. “No responsible automaker should be so slow in repairing defective vehicles where there’s up to a 50 percent chance a driver could be killed or seriously injured if an air bag deploys,” he said in a statement.
But Honda says it’s doing all it can. “It’s not for lack of unprecedented effort to try to reach these owners,” company spokesman Chris Martin said. Honda will pick up cars and drop off a loaner, says Martin, who adds that Honda has parts ready to repair all the dangerous cars.
Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Autotrader.com, admits it’s hard for automakers to find the present owners, but says “It’s time to either go to everyone’s home or take all 300,000 off the road.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) doesn’t have legal authority to order those steps, spokesman Bryan Thomas said. The agency knows that traditional ways of contacting owners haven’t been successful, and it’s working with Honda on new methods, he said without offering specifics.
NHTSA is seeking a rule requiring automakers to notify owners by an e-mail and text message that some automakers have already taken voluntarily.
Theodoros & Rooth strongly urges you to take your car into your dealership immediately if you get a notice. Even if you don’t receive one, and you have a Honda that is 10-15 years old, call a Honda dealer and ask if your car is on the list.
Many other models of vehicles are also on the recall list. For the latest information go to the NHTSA web site below for a listing and updated information.
If you are still not sure, call the dealer for the make of your car.
Defective products are one of our major practice areas at Theodoros & Rooth. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed as a result of an unsafe or defective product, you may have a legal claim for damages and you should contact the attorneys at Theodoros & Rooth immediately. At Theodoros & Rooth, we have over 110 years combined experience dealing with all types of personal injury cases. Our goal is to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. We accept personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. There are no out of pocket expenses and you pay nothing unless we win money for you. Call to schedule a free initial legal consultation.
Material for this article was taken from a variety of news sources.