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The Takata air bag recall is the largest automotive recall in U.S. History. The Japanese air bag maker, recalled an additional 3.3 million faulty air bag inflators Takata at the beginning of this year.[i] The latest recall covers frontal air bags in certain 2009, 2010 and 2013 vehicles made Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Tesla.[ii]
The United States Senate Commerce subcommittee that oversees the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has proposed a tentative hearing date on this recall for March 20, 2018. Takata did not immediately comment on the upcoming hearing. Senator Bill Nelson, the top Democrat on the Commerce Committee, has taken the lead in this endeavor stating that “NHTSA, the independent monitor, and the automakers should all be asked to participate so we can get the numbers moving in the right direction.” Nelson asked 19 automakers in a letter on February 27th to disclose details on the pace of fixing vehicles. NHTSA says just over half of the 40 million inflators recalled to date have been replaced.[iii]
One of our former clients, Stephanie Erdman, testified before the same subcommittee when the initial hearings were held on this recall. Stephanie nearly lost her right eye when the air bag inflator in her 2002 Honda Civic exploded and shrapnel flew into her face after another vehicle collided into hers. She underwent several surgeries to remove the shrapnel and to reconstruct her eyelids. Stephanie recovered, but she does not forget her injuries. The attorneys at the Ammons Law Firm helped Stephanie achieve a just recovery. Now, Stephanie urges manufacturers and consumers to replace their Takata air bags immediately to prevent further injury and death.
When these Takata air bags deploy, they can hurl shrapnel into drivers and passengers. The air bags use ammonium nitrate in its inflators to fill the air bags quickly, but when this chemical is exposed to high heat and humidity, it deteriorates causing the metal canister inside the bag to blow up and send shrapnel flying during a collision.[iv] Nineteen people, and thirteen in the United States have been killed by these faulty inflators. Another 180 people have been injured.[v]
You can search The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website for your vehicle model to determine whether your air bag needs replacing by clicking here.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective Takata air bag, you may have a potential claim for damages against the manufacturer. The air bag defect lawyers with the Ammons Law Firm have the legal resources and experience to assist you. Call 713-523-1606.