According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, an estimated 28 million vehicles in this country may have defective airbags that can explode when they deploy and spray passenger with metal shrapnel, causing severe injury and even death.
A massive nationwide recall is now in effect for Takata airbags after years of partial and regional recalls. This page provides crucial information about the problem with Takata airbags, vehicles affected, and possible remedies for vehicle owners and injury victims.
Airbag Lawsuits: Quick Answers to Important Questions
I need to find out if my car is part of the recall. What should I do? You can enter your vehicle’s VIN number and find out here.
I think my car is covered under the recall. What do I do? Your manufacturer should, if it hasn’t already, contacted you. Please call your local dealership immediately for clarification if your vehicle is affected and you haven’t received notification. Vehicles with bad Takata airbags will need to be fixed, and loaner cars may be available in the interim so you don’t have to drive a vehicle with a ticking time bomb in it.
I was in an accident and the airbag ruptured. What should I do? Drivers and passengers who have cuts from exploding Takata airbags are eligible to file lawsuits. Complete the form on this page for more information.
The Airbag Defect as It’s Now Understood
Takata for years changed its story about the cause of airbag defects as it held back key information from federal regulators and the public. Recently, the causes of the defect have come to light, at last providing clarity for a problem that has killed at least 10 people and injured over 100.
First, it’s important to understand how airbags work. Airbags are, in effect, controlled explosive devices that use chemical propellants to inflate the airbag. During an accident that triggers the airbag, the propellant turns from a solid to a gas in milliseconds. In a normally functioning airbag the explosion is contained within a metal canister known as the “inflator.” All that the occupant ever sees after an accident is the deployed airbag.
This is not the case with defective Takata airbags, which use a chemical propellant called ammonium nitrate that can destabilize when exposed to heat and moisture. Takata is the only airbag manufacture to use ammonium nitrate. Takata inflators also appear to have a bad design that allows moisture to penetrate the propellant wafers. Over time, these factors, working together, can cause Takata airbag explosions, say scientists, who add that their findings apply to roughly 23 million of the 28 million recalled airbags.
The unusually powerful explosion caused by the degraded ammonium nitrate can rip apart the metal inflator canister, shooting metal shards into the face, neck, and torso of occupants and causing serious injuries such as cuts, lacerations, broken bones, blindness, disfigurement, and in at least 10 instances, death.
Automobiles recalled to date
Defective Airbag Lawsuits
As federal safety regulators and Congress step up their investigations into Takata, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the manufacturer for years covered up airbag safety concerns. Takata’s failure to act promptly and provide greater transparency has likely resulted in injuries and deaths that could have been prevented.
This is what injury victims and their families are alleging in lawsuits filed against Takata. Auto parts suppliers such as Takata have a duty to provide products free of defects, to perform adequate product testing, and to fully disclose issues that pose safety threats. Failure to live up these and other duties can result in legal action against manufacturers and lawsuit compensation for victims.
If you or someone you know was the victim of an exploding Takata airbag and have questions about what to do next, please complete the form on this page and we’ll provide a free case evaluation.