Ruptured Air Bag Breaks Texas Man’s Jaw Prompting Lawsuit against Honda and Takata

A Texas man, age 18, was struck by a large piece of metal when his 2001 Civic’s airbag deployed in a relatively minor accident. The air bag’s defective inflator blew apart, sending shrapnel through the airbag cushion and toward the man. A large piece of metal struck him with great force, lacerating his neck and severely fracturing his jaw. He required surgery to repair his jaw as well as the removal of four teeth.

In the lawsuit brought against Honda and airbag supplier Takata on behalf of the injured man, Rob Ammons claims the Accord’s frontal airbag was defective and unreasonably dangerous because, in the event of its deployment, its inflator produces excessive internal pressure that causes it to rupture. According to the lawsuit, ammonium nitrate – the same explosive material Timothy McVey used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing – was a primary compound in this bag’s propellant. No airbag manufacturer other than Takata was using ammonium nitrate, but Honda chose these airbags to provide consumers of its vehicles with critical supplemental restraint. Instead of preventing injuries, these dangerous airbags are causing them.

Ammons also contends that from 2008 to 2013, airbags in 2001 Honda Civics were the subject of several recalls but that both Honda and Takata, despite having knowledge of a problem in the airbags since the first injury-producing rupture in 2004, failed to aggressively investigate the issue or to properly report incidents to the NHTSA. It was not until years after the accident in which his airbag malfunctioned that the victim, in this case, received notice of a recall involving his Civic’s airbag.

The Ammons Law Firm has a nationwide personal injury practice focusing on tire defects, truck accidents, rollovers, consumer protection and product liability, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, airbag defects, and plant explosions.