Honda and Takata Pay Children of Texas Man Killed by Exploding Air Bag

The Ammons Law Firm, together with co-counsel Michael Callahan, successfully negotiated the settlement of a product liability case against Honda and Takata brought on behalf of two minor children of a 35-year-old Texas man who bled to death after the inflator in his Honda Accord’s front airbag shot a piece of metal into his neck, slicing through his jugular vein and carotid artery.

In the lawsuit, it was alleged that the Accord’s driver side frontal air bag was defective and unreasonably dangerous because, in the event of a deployment, its defective inflator produces excessive internal pressure that causes it to explode into pieces. According to Ammons, Takata uses ammonium nitrate—the same explosive material Timothy McVey used in the Oklahoma City Bombing—as a propellant in the subject airbags while no other airbag manufacturer uses that chemical. Due to the excessive pressure, metal fragments can be propelled toward the driver with such force that they penetrate the airbag cushion and strike the driver. In this particular case, a large piece of metal shot through the airbag cloth and into the young man’s neck. Here is a picture of the ruptured airbag.

Ammons alleged that Honda and Takata knew of the inflator problem long before doing anything to address it. According to Ammons, these manufacturers’ investigation and response were dilatory, unacceptably limited and far from transparent. While from 2008 to 2013, defective airbags like those in the 2002 Accord were the subject of several recalls, many vehicles—like the one that killed this unfortunate victim—were either not included or the owners were not notified of such recalls until it was too late.

Rob Ammons is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, in addition to being Board Certified in Civil Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

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.