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Largest automotive recall in U.S. history ongoing

A manufacturing malfunction has resulted in the recall of about 69 million Takata airbag inflators, used by 31 different vehicle makes around the world, primarily in cars made between 2002 and 2015. The chemical that is used to inflate and propel the airbag from its casing is prone to spontaneous detonation, which can result in airbags accidentally deploying or rupturing and causing dangerous situations while driving.  If the airbag inflator is improperly activated, it can result in the driver being peppered with metal shards from the airbag’s casing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed the 11th fatality stemming from these issues in the United States on Oct. 20th. Nine of these 11 deaths have occurred in either Honda or Acura models. More than 100 people worldwide have been injured as a result of this issue.

Automobile giants BMW, GM, Ford, Audi, Nissan, Jaguar/Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Fiat/Chrysler, Volkswagen, and Toyota are also affected by what has now become described by the NHTSA “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.” In total it is estimated that as many as 100 million vehicles worldwide could be potentially affected. Get the full list of vehicles affected HERE.  The most dangerous models are reported Honda and Acura models made between 2001 and 2003, to which U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “Folks should not drive these vehicles unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired immediately, free of charge.”

Some carmakers not immediately complying with recall

The recall states that these faulty airbags should be replaced by 2019, but this hasn’t stopped Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Toyota or Volkswagen from manufacturing and selling new cars with these potentially deadly airbags. While this is not illegal due to the recall not being mandatory for another couple years, it is undoubtedly immoral and may certainly result in more accidents and potential fatalities.

These manufacturers argue that studies have indicated the airbags don’t become faulty and dangerous until around six years after they are built, due to the ammonium nitrate degrading over that time by heat and moisture. Some of the inflators have a drying agent built in to prevent this from occurring, but millions more do not. By putting either kind of these potentially-dangerous inflators in new cars, these manufacturers are announcing loud and clear that customer safety is not their primary concern.

People slow to fix the issue as well

Although more than 300,000 Hondas are involved in the recall, only about 13,000 of these cars have actually had the necessary replacement work done in the four months since the recall was announced. This is alarming if it is indicative of the other makes of vehicles affected by this recall. These cars are a danger to their own drivers and everyone else sharing the road with them.  Takada is expected to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in an enormous civil lawsuit, and will most likely be caught up in legal cases regarding this malfunctioning airbag for quite a long time moving forward.

If you, or somebody you love, has been injured or killed by a faulty airbag, consider contacting a legal professional from Altman & Altman LLP. We have over 40 years of experience litigating cases revolving around negligence or faulty products. There is simply no excuse for such a widespread and dangerous issue that can potentially harm so many people all over the world.  We will take on your case with the proper approach and never cease until we have secured you the settlement you deserve or have emerged victorious in court. Call us today for a completely free consultation at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199.  We are available 24/7.