Congress is urging The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to expand its recall of airbags manufactured by the Takata Corporation. Reports claim that the airbags are defective and that the inflation mechanism can rupture when the airbags are deployed, spraying occupants of the vehicle with high-velocity metal and plastic fragments. At least four people have died due to the faulty airbags, according to defective airbag attorneys.
The NHTSA is encouraging car manufacturers with Takata airbags to issue their own, separate recalls. Because many of the reported problems with the airbags have been in climates that are hot and humid, some car manufacturers are only issuing the recalls in areas of the world with that type of climate. However, other automakers are recalling all vehicles with the airbags.
Reported Airbag Injuries
The issue with the airbags first came to light when a California man accidentally accelerated his 2002 Acura TL in a parking garage, striking several vehicles and a wall. A metal portion of the airbag deployment system struck the man in the face, fracturing his skull and damaging his brain. The California man later died of his injuries, and it is possible that his family will contact a California defective airbag attorney regarding a wrongful death claim.
The California man’s death suggests the Takata airbag problem may occur in areas where weather is not necessarily hot and humid, since the climate in southern California is warm, but not necessarily humid. Another issue facing the limited recall is that of what are known as “snowbirds,” or people who spend summers in cooler climates but spend winters in areas that are hot and humid, such as Florida. Because their vehicle may be registered in a different state but used in the warmer state, it is possible they will not receive notice of the recall and could be at risk of injury or death, according to defective airbag attorneys.
The Airbag Recall List
According to some experts, recalling the airbags will be a difficult and expensive effort as Takata, a Japanese company, supplies as much as 30 percent of the airbags used by car manufacturers throughout the world. However, there are only a few makes and models covered under the recall at this time. They include:
- BMW – 2001-2005 3 Series Sedan; 2001-2006 3 Series Coupe; 2001-2005 3 Series Sports Wagon and 2001-2006 3 Series Convertible
- Ford – 2005-2007 Ford Mustang; 2005-2006 Ford GT; 2004 Ford Ranger
- Honda – 2001-2007 Honda Accord 4-Cylinder; 2001-2002 Honda Accord V6; 2001-2005 Honda Civic; 2002-2006 Honda CR-V; 2003-2011 Honda Element; 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey; 2002-2007 Honda Pilot; 2006 Honda Ridgeline; 2003-2006 Acura MDX and 2002-2003 Acura TL/CL
- Mazda – 2003-2007 Mazda6; 2004-2008 RX-8; 2006-2007 Mazdaspped6 and 2004 MPV
- Mitsubishi – 2004-2005 Lancer
- Toyota – 2003-2005 Toyota Corolla, Matrix, Sequoia, Tundra, Lexus SC and Pontiac Vibe
Chrysler and Nissan are two manufacturers who are awaiting information from Takata before issuing recalls on their vehicles, but they have notified consumers who have registered vehicles in hot and humid clients of the potential problem.
The NHTSA is still investigating incidents where a vehicle occupant may have been injured or killed due to reportedly faulty airbags, and it is possible more will be discovered as the investigation continues.
Injured by an Airbag? Call Us Today.
If you believe you have been injured due to faulty Takata airbags or if a loved one has been killed by what you suspect is a faulty airbag, contact Attorney Group for California today for more information.