The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is warning vehicle owners who live in warm climates to have their vehicle checked by a dealer to see if they contain airbags manufactured by the Takata Corporation of Japan. However, airbag defect attorneys note that Congress is asking the NHTSA to expand the recall to include all vehicles that have the airbags, including vehicles registered in Colorado.
Airbag Recall Overview
According to reports, the Takata airbag recall was prompted by a mechanism that unexpectedly ruptures when the airbag inflates, causing injury to drivers and passengers when metal and plastic fragments are ejected from the airbag. At least four people are believed to have died, and numerous others injured, by the shrapnel-like discharge that occurs when the airbag deploys. One person’s injuries were reportedly so severe that investigators initially thought he had been the victim of foul play.
Although most of the injuries and deaths appear to have occurred in areas that are hot and humid, because information about what causes the malfunction is still not known, airbag defect attorneys note that safety experts believe that the recall should be expanded to states that are not normally hot and humid, such as Colorado.
Currently, the NHTSA is encouraging auto manufacturers to identify which of their vehicles should be recalled. Some manufacturers have recalled all vehicles that had the Takata airbags installed, while others are only issuing the recall in states with high humidity and warm temperatures. This concerns members of Congress who have asked that the recall be expanded and all manufacturers required to recall all vehicles with Takata airbags.
Advocates for an expanded recall states that the problem with only issuing the recall for vehicles registered in states with hot and humid climates is that many people who spend their winters in warm weather states have registered their vehicle in a state with colder weather. Many times, the vehicle owner uses the same vehicle in the warm climates as in the cool climates so they may be putting themselves at risk of injury due to the faulty airbags.
Takata reportedly supplies 30 percent of the airbags used throughout the world, so the recall could be far reaching as the investigation continues. Experts say that there may be more vehicles and manufacturers affected than those that are covered under current recalls. Presently, only the following six manufacturers have issues recalls, and only for certain models and years of vehicle:
- General Motors
Injuries that result from airbag malfunctions can be life-threatening and cause permanent damage. Four deaths have already been linked with the current Takata airbag recalls, and airbag defect attorneys expect additional deaths and injuries to be discovered as investigations continue.
Injured by an Airbag? Call Us Today.
If you believe you have been injured by an airbag, or if a loved one has died of injuries sustained when an airbag deployed, contact Attorney Group for Colorado today for a free consultation. You are under no obligation and the initial consultation is free. If you have a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated Takata airbag recall attorney who can assist you with your case.