An additional 2.7 million potentially defective Takata airbag inflators have been added to the Takata airbag recall by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The addition brings the nation’s largest auto recall to a total of 42 million vehicles and nearly 70 million airbags.
This news comes as Honda has confirmed with the NHTSA that a 12th death that occurred in June 2016 was caused by a defective Takata airbag. The airbags are now linked to at least 17 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide.
If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a defective airbag, you may be entitled to file a Takata airbag lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and other damages you have suffered. Contact Gordon & Partners to learn more about your legal rights.
Mazda, Nissan and Ford Vehicles Recalled
The most recent vehicles to be included in the recall include approximately 6,000 Mazda vehicles, 515,000 Nissan vehicles and 2.2 million Ford vehicles. The identified models include:
- 2007-2009 Mazda B-Series
- 2007-2012 Nissan Versa
A list of the most recently added Ford vehicles is not yet available. However, the NHTSA maintains a full list of vehicles recalled for Takata airbags. To check if your vehicle is included in the recall, visit the NHTSA’s VIN lookup and schedule a free repair with your vehicle’s dealer if your car has an open recall.
Dangerous Ammonium Nitrate Airbag Inflators
Unlike the previously issued recalls, the most recent is for airbags that use calcium sulfate as a drying agent for the ammonium nitrate propellants.
The propellant is used to inflate the airbags upon impact. However, ammonium nitrate has been shown to decay over time, which has led to airbag inflators exploding with too much force and sending deadly shrapnel flying throughout the interior of a vehicle.
Takata previously claimed that vehicles with drying agents, called a desiccant, were safe and only those without a drying agent were at risk for exploding violently. It was believed that the desiccant stopped the ammonium nitrate propellant from decaying.
However, the NHTSA announced last week that tests conducted by Takata showed that this type of desiccated inflator could pose a safety risk if not replaced. Although there are no reports of any inflators with the calcium sulfate drying agent exploding, the tests showed indications that these inflators showed patterns of deterioration over time, which could lead to an explosion.
Although this is the first recall of a desiccated inflator, only inflators with calcium sulfate have been recalled. There are others made with other types of drying agents.
With the expansion of the recall to a new type of ammonium nitrate airbag, some U.S. Senators now question the safety of all ammonium-nitrate-based airbags.
12th Death Linked to Takata Airbags
The same day the NHTSA announced the new recall, it also announced that Honda had confirmed a 12th death linked to Takata airbags.
According to the announcement, the airbag inflator in the driver’s side of a 2001 Honda Accord ruptured in Florida while a man was attempting to make repairs to the vehicle.
The incident happened in Hialeah while the man was using a hammer while the ignition was on. The hammer triggered the activation of the airbag inflator, which ruptured as the airbag deployed. The man died the next day from injuries caused by the deployment.
Millions of Recalled Vehicles Left Unrepaired
Despite the large scale of the recall, involving 19 automakers, and pressure from U.S. and Chinese regulators, estimates indicate that less than one-third of the faulty airbags in the United States have been repaired.
The delays were initially caused by a lack of replacement parts from Takata and have been perpetuated by the fact that many of the vehicles are older and have been sold multiple times, which makes it more difficult to notify the current owner of the recall.
As a result of the massive recall and millions in legal fees related to the issue, Takata declared bankruptcy in June 2017. Many expect the declaration to speed up the replacement process.
Contact West Palm Beach defective product attorneys Today
The West Palm Beach defective product lawyers of Gordon & Partners work to hold negligent parties accountable for the harm their dangerous products cause consumers. Our legal team will pursue maximized compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if you have been injured by a product defect like a Takata airbag.
Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation. Pursuing legal action with our law firm is done on a contingency basis, and fees are only assessed if we recover compensation for you.