On March 2, 2018, in an announcement affecting approximately 42 million vehicles in the U.S., it was made known that over two dozen brands of auto may have an air bag that, if deployed, will shoot shrapnel into unsuspecting drivers.
Recently, Takata Corporation, a Japanese manufacturer of airbags, had an additional 3.3 million airbags supplied to auto manufacturers recalled in the United States. The recalled airbags were supplied in over 43 million U.S. vehicles. Currently, approximately 20 deaths and 180 injuries have been linked to the faulty airbags.
Despite a finding that Takata airbags are prone to dangerous explosions when deployed, the Japanese auto supplier, Takata, and the auto industry as a whole have been slow in their widespread recall. This slow recall poses a deadly threat to millions of drivers and passengers.
Earlier this month, Florida Toyota car dealer, Earl Stewart, sued one of its competitors, Arrigo Enterprises, for selling cars containing Takata airbags. The lawsuit alleges Arrigo is not telling its customers about the recall and even misrepresenting the recall status.
Some Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Volkswagen vehicles from the 2016 and 2017 model years being sold are equipped with Takata airbag inflators, despite the devices being potentially defective and likely to be recalled within a few years, according to a Senate report. Takata has already agreed to recall about 69 million airbag inflators in the U.S. by the end of 2019, but these automakers can legally sell their newer model vehicles as they are not yet covered by the recall.
Over the past 7 years, 17 million vehicles with defective airbags have been recalled by Takata Corp, who manufactures for over 10 automakers, such as Honda. At the slightest accident the airbags deploy with excessive force and irregular reports of shrapnel. One such incident caused a severely damaged hand, a broken eye socket and fractures, while the vehicle had only sustained a crack in the bumper. Despite the faulty part and due to the present law requiring the vehicle to be within a 10-year ownership mark, the vehicle was labeled "too old" to be included in the recall.
The new head of the U.S. Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently stated that recent attention on defective automobiles will likely result in over 60 million vehicles being recalled in 2015.
A lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles claims the Takata Corporation discovered a defect in its airbags around ten years ago and then destroyed the records of the study. Approximately 8 million cars have been recalled. Most of the recalled vehicles were built by Honda Motor, which is also named as a defendant in the suit.