Experienced Mass Torts Lawyers Handle Takata Air Bag Litigation Nationwide
Determined representation for victims of automotive air bag explosions
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 37 million vehicles from 19 manufacturers are currently under recall with more to follow due to defective air bags manufactured by the Takata Corporation. NHTSA has issued consumer safety advisories warning the public not to drive certain vehicles equipped with these devices. If you or a loved one was in an auto accident in which a Takata air bag malfunctioned, our mass torts attorneys may be able to help you recover full compensation. Large corporations are powerful defendants with legal teams determined to deny your claim. Our dedicated trial lawyers draw on more than 200 years of combined experience to litigate aggressively on your behalf.
Common cases of injury involving Takata air bags
Three types of dangerous events caused by defective Takata air bags have been reported:
- Spontaneous deployment — The air bag inflates when it should not. This can happen while the car is in motion, preventing the driver from operating the vehicle, resulting in a crash. However, even air bag deployment when the car is not moving can still cause serious injury and death, especially in the next set of circumstances.
- Explosive deployment — The air bag deploys with tremendous force, often rupturing and sending metal shards toward the driver. A spray of shrapnel from such explosions is responsible for the deaths of numerous drivers.
- Air bag failure — The air bag does not deploy on impact, resulting in serious injury to the unprotected driver and/or passenger.
If you have experienced any of these events in the last three years, our attorneys are ready to help you fight for justice.
Cause of the Takata air bag recall
At the center of the problem is the air bag’s inflator, a metal canister loaded with propellant wafers. The chemicals in the propellant have been found to destabilize over time when exposed to heat and moisture. When an impact triggers the air bag, the propellant explodes with excessive force, shattering the inflator, rupturing the air bag, and spraying metal shards throughout the cabin. For example, in July 2014, a pregnant woman, aged 42, was killed in a collision when the air bag in her 2003 Honda ruptured and a flying metal fragment sliced into her neck.
Here is a brief history of the Takata air bag problem:
- 1988 — Takata Corporation begins manufacturing air bags and gradually comes to control 20 percent of the market.
- 2013 — Auto manufacturers detect issues with the air bags; by May, a total of 3.6 million cars have been recalled. (As noted above, the propellant needs time to destabilize, so the threat is to older cars.) Problem air bags are traced back to Takata's Monclova Plant in Coahuila, Mexico, operated by the company’s North American/Mexican subsidiary, TK Holdings Inc.
- June 2014 — Takata admits its Mexican subsidiary mishandled the manufacture of explosive propellants and improperly stored chemicals. The absence of quality control records makes identifying the whereabouts of defective air bags more difficult.
- June 23, 2014 — After a NHTSA investigation, auto manufacturers BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, and Toyota announce they are recalling more than 3 million vehicles worldwide.
- November 18, 2014 — NHTSA orders Takata to issue a nationwide air bag recall. This becomes the largest automobile recall in history.
- December 9, 2016 — As of this date, car manufacturers affected by the Takata air bag recall include Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks North America, Daimler Vans USA LLC, Dodge/Ram, Ferrari, Fisker, Ford, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Mercury, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Scion, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
Trust our mass tort lawyers to manage your Takata air bag litigation
Takata has admitted the existence of a defect with its air bags, and it’s clear that defect has caused widespread injuries and wrongful death. If you have been injured due to a malfunctioning air bag, please call our attorneys for a free consultation and case evaluation. The injury attorneys at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban know what it takes to win, especially against a powerful defendant. Call us today at (888) 351-1038 or contact us online.