Automakers Issue Recalls for Defective Airbags Worldwide
According to Bloomberg News, the Japanese-based company, Takata Corporation, has supplied allegedly defective airbags to automakers. The airbags deploy under too much force, spraying metal shrapnel in the air and at vehicle occupants. At least four deaths and over 30 injuries in the United States have been linked to the safety device’s defective deployment. The defect has led to a multitude of nation-wide lawsuits, which assert that Takata and several car manufacturers defrauded consumers by concealing crucial information pertaining to the airbags.
One possibility for the defect is Takata’s choice to use an unusual explosive chemical, ammonium nitrate, to inflate its airbags in milliseconds, according to auto industry executives. “No other supplier other than Takata has used this ammonium nitrate,” states Jochen Siebert, the managing director of JSC Automotive Consulting in Shanghai.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received statements from several auto manufacturers that they are issuing recalls to address the safety defect. The manufacturers involved in the recall include BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, and Mitsubishi. And according to a recent report by The New York Times, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ordered that Takata turn over pertinent records. In particular, the administration has demanded that “Takata turn over records regarding the production, testing and subsequent concerns raised internally and by automakers over the airbags, as well as communications between the company and automakers about defect concerns.”
Reuters reports that Takata initially set aside 75 billion yen ($694 million) for the airbag recalls and that they are considering setting aside an additional 2-3 billion yen ($19-$28 million) to cover the most recent recalls by Nissan, Honda, and Toyota.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.