One of the biggest airbag manufacturers and automobile companies are currently in the middle of litigation regarding their dangerous airbags. The class action suit against Takata, the airbag manufacturer, and Honda stems from the fact that Takata’s explosive charge components in its airbag systems were defectively manufactured as early as 2001. The complaint alleges that rather than deploying the airbags to avoid injuries, the defective Takata airbag inflators quite literally blew up like hand-grenades, sending lethal metal and plastic shrapnel into the vehicle cockpit and into the bodies of the drivers and passengers. The plaintiffs in the case further allege that Takata and Honda knew of the lethal airbag defect for at least thirteen years, but did nothing to avert ongoing harm and loss of life.
CORPORATIONS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PRODUCTS THEY BRING TO MARKET
According to the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability, “a product is defective in design ‘when the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design’ and its omission ‘renders the product not reasonably safe.’ Additionally, a product is considered defective ‘when the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by the provision of reasonable instructions or warnings’ and their omission ‘renders the product not reasonably safe.’ Unless the danger is obvious or known, a manufacturer has a duty to warn where its product is inherently dangerous or has dangerous propensities.” Scheman-Gonzalez v. Saber Mfg. Co., 816 So. 2d 1133, 1139 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2002).
The complaint goes on to list several gruesome incidences where Takata and Honda airbags caused severe damage to motorists. The trial pleading cites the following disasters due to faulty airbags:
- In 2004, a Takata airbag in a Honda Accord exploded, shooting out metal shrapnel and severely injuring the car’s driver.
- In 2009, a Takata airbag in a Florida resident’s Honda Civic exploded after a minor accident. The explosion sent a two-inch piece of shrapnel from the airbag flying into the victim’s neck. Somehow the victim survived the brutal ordeal.
- In 2009, 18-year-old Parham was killed while driving a 2001 Honda when the Takata airbag in her car exploded after her car bumped into another car in a parking lot. While she seemingly survived the minor bump, the metal shrapnel that blast out of the exploding Takata airbag carved open her carotid artery and she bled to death.
- In 2014, South Florida resident Nunez was involved in a crash while driving her 2001 Honda. While she survived the car accident, she was severely injured when a large piece of metal blasted from her car’s Takata airbag into her forehead. She survived, but now suffers from serious lasting injuries.
- In 2014, Florida resident Tran perished just days after her Honda Accord crash into another car in Orlando. The Takata airbag exploded, shooting shrapnel into her neck. The medical examiner stated that the shrapnel caused “stab-type wounds” cutting her trachea.
Archer v. Takata Corp., Honda Motor, No. 2:14-cv-08447, 2014 WL 5503205 (C.D.Cal.) (Trial Pleading).
The victims further allege that Takata’s airbag plants did not abide by their own internal safety guidelines. In 2002, one of Takata’s airbag plants in North America permitted a defect rate that was six to eight times beyond satisfactory parameters. Id.
On December 18, 2014, Ford added 447,310 more vehicles to the recall list.
Just this week, Honda “expanded its recall over the issue, adding 1,252 of its 2015 Crosstour vehicles to the list. In this case, it is the side air bag that could potentially be faulty, leading to possible injuries in the event it deploys improperly during a wreck. According to the NHTSA, the air bag might not inflate to the proper level due to inflator tube issues; fortunately, the auto maker isn’t aware of any injuries that have resulted from this potential issue.”
Consumer Reports has compiled a great amount of information on their website detailing what vehicles are involved in the recall and what to do if your vehicle might be affected.
As of right now, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota vehicles have all been included in the recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lets you search by your vehicle VIN number to see if your car has been included in the recall. If you or a loved one have been injured due to a defective product, such as a vehicle equipped with the Takata airbag, please contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free consultation. Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA will fight for the compensation you deserve.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756