The Takata Airbag recall continues to grow, as more alarming news has been uncovered. At the urging of several U.S. Senators, the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration is considering whether the recalls of nearly 29 million defective Takata inflators in the United States should be expanded to include another 70 million to 90 million inflators with ammonium nitrate.
This comes after damaging documents were uncovered showing that Takata knew the inflators were defective and falsified data in 2010 to calm the concerns of its biggest customer, Honda, after concerns about faulty airbags began to surface. These documents were cited in a report published by the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation and highlight what investigators claim was, “a pattern of deceit at Takata that continued long after the severity of the airbag defect came to light.”
The Senate report shows clearly that Takata continued to deny the inflators were defective long after their own internal testing had shown how dangerous they really were. Their callous disregard for safety has been directly linked to at least 10 deaths and led to a massive safety recall.
This past week an Independent Testing Coalition put together by the automobile industry issued a report concluding that one of the biggest factors that cause the airbags to inflate with too much force and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers – is moisture and high humidity. This means anyone living in Florida and the southeast and owning a vehicle with Takata airbags faces increased risk.
For this reason I urge vehicle owners who think their car may have defective airbags to check to see if their car is affected. The easiest way to check a car’s airbags is to call a franchised dealer or look to the ownership sections on manufacturers’ websites for recall information. Owners can also use their vehicle identification number, VIN, and enter it into the NHTSA’s online VIN-lookup tool. The NHTSA website also has a list of vehicles affected by the recalls for quick review.
At Saunders & Walker we will continue to monitor the Takata recall and offer representation to anyone suspecting that they, or their relatives, may have been killed or injured by these dangerous airbags.