New Report Shows Defective Takata Air Bags Are Still Being Placed in New Cars

New Report Shows Defective Takata Air Bags Are Still Being Placed in New Cars

The Takata Airbag recall is the largest automotive recall in history and is still growing.  A recent study shows that about 1 in 8 vehicles nationwide are potentially affected – mainly with the car brands Toyota, Honda, Nissan, General Motors, Mitsubishi, and Ford.

A new report shows that of the twenty-plus auto manufactures affected in this crisis, four of them are continuing to sell brand new models of their cars that are manufactured with the defective Takata airbag – Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, and Mitsubishi, knowing that they will eventually have to be recalled. Car manufactures are even replacing the defective airbags with other defective airbags, because there is a shortage of replacement parts.

Since there are so many recalls within the country and throughout the rest of the world, Takata is naturally struggling to keep up with the supply of new, non-dysfunctional airbags. Experts believe it will be years, until at least 2019, before the company and manufactures are able provide enough parts to safely replace all of those who have been affected. This has led some auto makers to make a tough decision: stop making cars altogether, or replace the defective airbags with other airbags that will be recalled at a later date. The theory behind replacing the Takata air bags with newer Takata airbags is that newer airbags have less of a chance to deploy unintentionally, providing slim safety relief for all those who are concerned about their airbags unexpectedly deploying. Regulators believe that new airbags do not pose an “immediate threat” as the air bags “take time to deteriorate.” (Hiroko Tabuchi, June 2016).

According to an article posted by the New York Times, auto manufactures are not required by law to tell a potential buyer if the new car they may be purchasing has a defective airbag. Potential new car owners could purchase a car that will be recalled down the line and have no knowledge about it when making the purchase. This could really have a negative impact on the automobile industry, as consumers would now be hesitant to purchase a car, or not purchase one at all, knowing that their dealer might not be giving them all the facts.

The Takata Airbag crisis that began over three years ago in April 2013 stems from the use of a certain chemical that is responsible for inflating the airbag. The chemical compound known as ammonium nitrate is the main component and needs a drying agent, known as desiccant, to deploy properly. If the inflator is exposed to moisture and doesn’t have desiccant, the airbag will rupture with a force that will send shrapnel flying into the driver and the passenger of the car. The airbag deploying is not entirely contingent on the vehicle being impacted – some may deploy without any warning at all, especially vehicles that are in warmer climates. So far, 14 people have been killed by the airbags; four in Malaysia and ten in the United States.

According to an article by the Los Angeles Times, it is believed that Takata had financial incentive to use ammonium nitrate – it’s cheaper than many other chemical compounds. Takata is able to save a lot of money, while still being able to keep up with competitors in terms of manufacturing. The low price allowed the airbags to be used in multiple auto manufactures resulting in it being used in millions of vehicles all over the world.

What can you do to protect yourself? If you are unsure whether or not your vehicle is affected by the recall, you can find out here https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/ and enter in your vehicle identification number. Certain personal injury cases can be extremely complex and expensive to litigate. They require the knowledge and experience of a large law firm, like Goldberg Persky & White. If you have suffered any type of injury, please call our office at 1-800-471-3980 or by filling out our evaluation form below and one of our attorneys will evaluate your case at no charge.

 

Sources:
Hiroko Tabuchi, “Automakers Still Selling Cars With Defective Takata Airbags,” The New York Times (June 1, 2016). [Link]
Amy Edelen, “Recall of Dangerous Takata Air Bags Affects 1 in 8 Vehicles, Report Says,” The Los Angeles Times, (July 13, 2016). [Link]
Shan Li, “Cars with Potentially Deadly Takata Air Bags are Still Being Made and Sold,” The Los Angeles Times, (June 1, 2016). [Link]
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