On October 20, 2014, a recall involving approximately 4.7 million vehicles was issued by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The recall pertains to vehicles that have certain airbags installed by Takata, a Japanese safety parts enterprise. NHTSA has advised owners of the recalled vehicles to take them to dealers immediately so the airbags can be replaced. There is now concern that the demand for replacement airbags will outstrip the supply.
Check Vehicle Using Vehicle
Identification Number (VIN)
Many but not all of the vehicles involved were built between 2000 and 2006 for the 2001-2007 model years. However, there are exceptions. For instance, there are 2011 Honda Elements that have been recalled as well. Anyone who wants to see if a given vehicle has been recalled can enter the VIN number at safercar.gov.
Of the 4.7 million vehicles recalled, approximately 2.8 million are Hondas. More than 700,000 Toyotas, 500,000 BMWs, 400,000 Nissans and a lesser number of Mazdas and General Motors products are involved in the recall.
Allegedly Defective Inflators
The airbags involved in the recall may have inflators that generate excessive force at deployment. Metal pieces may then fly at motorists and front-row passengers during airbag deployment. Thus far, four deaths and over 30 injuries have been allegedly linked to the Takata airbags.
Texas Lawsuit Follows Alleged Injury
A number of lawsuits have been filed thus far. One such suit involved an accident that occurred in Santa Rosa County, Florida. When an airbag inflated in a 2002 Honda Civic during an accident, metal shards allegedly flew at the 28-year-old female motorist. In her suit, the complainant alleges her face was bloodied and that a piece of metal lodged in her right eye. The suit was filed in the state of Texas because the vehicle was purchased there. The lawsuit seeks $1 million in damages.
Potential Link to High Humidity
NHTSA began to investigate incidents involving the Takata airbags early in 2014. At first, attention focused on vehicles kept in high humidity environments. As a result, two regional recalls, one in Puerto Rico and one in Florida, occurred in June 2014. Now, the October 2014 recall extends to vehicles in all states and U.S. territories. If a faulty airbag deployment can be reasonably linked to injury or death, a Tennessee defective airbag lawsuit may be filed.
The allegedly defective airbags were installed by a total of 10 or more automakers worldwide. As a result, it is currently estimated that as many as 16 million vehicles may contain the problem airbags, and about 12 million have already been recalled around the world.
A person who reports an injury by a Takata airbag can consider the filing of a Tennessee defective airbag lawsuit. An injured party can seek compensation for a variety of losses and expenses, including related medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and long-term care expenses. In fatal events, a Tennessee defective airbag lawsuit can be filed by surviving family members. Such litigation may pursue compensation for burial expenses, pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
Please contact our staff at Attorney Group for Tennessee with any questions pertaining to an accident either you or someone you know may have been involved in. When it is desired, a consultation can be arranged with one of our affiliated attorneys. An initial consultation is always complimentary and completely confidential. When appropriate, a Tennessee defective airbag lawsuit can be filed on your behalf.