Last month, Toyota issued another recall on various vehicle models due to defective front passenger airbag inflators. The defect has been linked to a number of reported injuries and deaths, heightening pressure on auto manufacturers of cars that use the offending airbags, as well as on government regulators to press for industry action.
Takata, the supplier of the airbags, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the recall in response to reports of susceptibility to air bag ruptures upon deployment. The Toyota recall was prompted by a series of recalls of Takata airbags occurring in 2008 amongst various vehicle brands including Ford and GM.
In addition to their previous recall involving driver-side airbags, Toyota has recalled the 2003-2007 Corolla, Matrix, and Lexus SC430; the 2005-2006 Tundra; and the 2005-2007 Sequoia. These recalls have been the largest made to date by the NHTSA, totaling 34 million vehicles. Of these, 2.95 million are Toyota vehicles.
Seven deaths from car accidents involving Takata airbags have been reported to date. A pending lawsuit against Takata has been filed in Louisiana after a 22-year old woman died following injuries fwhile driving her 2005 Honda Civic. Tragically, she received the recall warning from Takata two days after the accident.
Two U.S. Senators, Richard Blumenthal and Edward J. Markey both have urged for the recall of all motor vehicles supplied with Takata’s air bags. According to the New York Times, this demand has the potential to affect more than 50 million vehicles in the United States. (Media reports indicate that Toyota in considering using suppliers other than Takata to replace the airbags-a seemingly logical choice.) As a consumer, it is important to check for recalls on nhtsa.gov and be up to date on your vehicle’s status.
If you or someone you know was injured or killed in an accident in a vehicle that has been recalled by the NHTSA, it is important to understand your right to recover. Contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884 for a confidential consultation.