On Monday, October 20, 2014, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a recall notice affecting approximately 4.7 million vehicles nationwide. Owners are urged to take immediate action by taking their vehicles to dealers.
The recall reportedly affects over 700,000 Toyotas, over 2.8 million Hondas, over 400,000 Nissans, and more than 500,000 BMWs. Mazda and General Motors also have vehicles on the recall list. An owner can enter a vehicle identification number at safercar.gov to check on a specific vehicle. Most, but not all of the vehicles were built between model years 2001 and 2007.
Malfunctioning Inflators Alleged
A Japanese manufacturer named Takata is alleged to have manufactured airbags with defective inflators. In certain accidents, it is claimed that airbags burst due to excessive force in the inflators. This allegedly resulted in metal fragments flying at drivers and passengers. These incidents have been linked to four deaths, and some lawsuits have been filed.
One Texas defective airbag lawsuit was filed in May 2014 in a Texas civil court. A 28-year-old woman alleges in the suit that “shards of metal” were embedded in her face and eye when a Takata airbag deployed in her 2002 Honda Civic during an accident. The incident occurred in Santa Rosa County, Florida, but the suit was filed in Texas because that’s where she purchased the car. The plaintiff is seeking damages in the amount of $1 million.
NHTSA began investigating alleged Takata airbag deployment problems earlier in 2014. Regional recalls were first issued in June 2014 in two higher humidity areas, Florida and Puerto Rico. The fact that the agency has stressed the urgency of the recall in more humid regions will not go unnoticed by many Texans who experience tropical heat every summer.
A Global Concern
Now, the October 2014 recall includes vehicles in all U.S. states and territories. Although NHTSA claims that recall notices are sent to vehicle owners, the fact that many of the vehicles are more than a decade old make make it difficult to track down owners in some cases. Globally, it is believed that at least 10 auto manufacturers have used the allegedly defective Takata airbags in the past. Today it is believed as many as 16 million vehicles may be impacted worldwide.
A defective airbag lawsuit may be filed when an injury or a loss of life can be reasonably thought to be the result of a defective airbag deployment. Texas law provides for compensatory damages that often include compensation for unpaid medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income and other expenses. When a fatality occurs, loved ones may be able to file a Texas defective airbag lawsuit seeking compensation for loss of consortium, burial expenses and other losses.
Injured by an Airbag? Call us today.
We at Attorney Group for Texas stand ready to answer your questions if either you or a loved one has been impacted by a possibly defective airbag deployment. We can also arrange for you to consult with one of our affiliated attorneys about your case. The initial consultation is free and without obligation. An evaluation of your case may result in an agreement with the attorney to file a Texas defective airbag lawsuit.