Since 2014 there have been on-going international recalls for vehicle airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation.  The defective airbags have been installed on cars and trucks with model years from 2002 through 2015, made by BMW, Ford, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Jeep/Chrysler and Mazda – and a dozen other manufacturers. 

The recall includes at least 37 million cars and trucks in the U.S. with an additional 65 to 70 million airbags that have been installed in other types of vehicles in the U.S. and abroad.

The front airbags – as well as the passenger and driver side – have been found to be defective.  These defects cause the airbags to explode on impact, spraying hard plastic and metal shards throughout the vehicle.   More than a dozen Americans have been killed by the defective airbags.

Consumer Reports investigative articles indicate that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called the airbag recall disastrous and “the largest and most complex safety recall in history.”

Safety devices

Airbags were originally designed and stored in the steering wheel, as a way to protect drivers.  As airbag technology improved, they were included in the side of the car for both the driver and passenger. Even when they deploy as designed, airbags have been known to cause whiplash, brain injuries and neck and spine injuries.

Serious or severe airbag malfunctions and injuries were relatively rare – until the Takata defects.  Possible scenarios with the defective Takata product include:

  • Failure of the internal airbag components that result in untimely deployment – the airbag may explode while driving without any type of impact
  • Shredding of the internal components of the airbag during deployment, causing debris to shower the inhabitants of the vehicle
  • Unnecessary deployment – the airbag may deploy in a low impact fender-bender
  • Failure of the airbag inflator and sensor may cause delayed deployment during a crash, or the airbag may not deploy at all, even in case of a high impact crash

Next Steps

There are several class-action product liability law suits regarding these airbags – but an area that is often not addressed by these defective product lawsuits is that of the person who was stuck due to the other driver’s defective airbag deployment.

Brian Branch is dedicated to helping these drivers and passengers seek justice for their injuries.  If another driver crashed into you after the deployment of a defective airbag, and you have been injured or suffered property damage as a result of this crash, call The Law Office of Brian K. Branch, PC at 505-207-4401.

At the scene

If you have been involved in an accident and the defective Takata airbag was a factor, either directly or indirectly, please make sure to save all evidence of the airbag failure.    Do not allow any pieces of the airbag to be discarded, and do not allow the insurance company to take possession of your car.  Use video and pictures to document the condition of the airbag and all associated damage.

Since our founding in in 1997, attorneys and staff at The Law Office of Brian K. Branch, PC have been providing aggressive representation with compassion for the victims of accidents throughout New Mexico.  Please call 505-207-4401 to schedule a free consultation today.

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