Since 2014, nearly 50 million Takata airbags have been recalled in the United States alone. Prior to the recalls, Takata had about 20 percent of the global airbag market, with the recalls affecting nearly every vehicle manufacturer, including the Detroit Three, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Daimler, Subaru, Volkswagen, and Audi. Although just over 37 million Takata airbags have been repaired, nearly 12.5 million are still in cars on the road today.
The issue involves a defective inflator with propellent devices that break down after long-term exposure to high temperature fluctuations and humidity in cars. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has determined the root cause is Takata’s use of an ammonium nitrate-based propellent without a chemical drying agent. According to the NHTSA, Takata mishandled the ammonium nitrate at one of its facilities, increasing the likelihood of the problem. Takata is also the only manufacturer to use ammonium nitrate, which allows it to make smaller airbags, but with obvious risks.
Once these devices break down, the inflator housing may rupture in a crash, causing metal shards to spray throughout the cabin and into occupants. To date, 24 people have been killed and over 240 people have been severely injured by these Takata airbags.
The attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner have been fighting for the rights of people injured by negligently manufactured and negligently designed products for decades. If you or someone you know has been injured by an airbag defect or by any other product defect, contact the experienced attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner at (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.