Our ongoing coverage of the Takata airbag recall continues with news that a 10th death has been linked to the company’s faulty airbags. Nine of the ten deaths caused by Takata’s rupturing airbag inflators have occurred in the United States, including one near Houston, TX.
The latest tragedy occurred in December 2015 when the driver of a 2006 Ford Ranger pickup truck was killed by an exploding airbag. This incident is significant not only for the tragic loss of life, but also because it is the first Takata airbag-related death in a non-Honda vehicle. The problem is clearly continuing to grow and, in the words of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) spokesman, it has now become “a massive safety crisis.”
Death Triggers Additional Recalls, More Follow Soon After
Following news of the latest death, the NHTSA announced that an additional five million vehicles would be recalled for airbag replacements. This brought the total number of recalled vehicles to roughly 24 million (note that prior estimates putting the recall figure at around 34 million have since been revised). With many of these vehicles having more than one faulty airbag, the additional recall brought the total number of affected airbags up to approximately 28 million.
NHTSA’s announcement includes models from:
- Daimler Vans
- Mercedes Benz
Less than a month later, Honda and Mercedes Benz both announced that they were adding more vehicles to the recall. Together, these recalls cover an additional 3 million vehicles that are currently being driven in the United States.
Takata Isn’t the Only Airbag Maker with Problems
In other news, German airbag maker Continental announced in February that it may have delivered as many as five million defective airbags to Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen and Volvo. This includes roughly two million units that were sold to car buyers in the United States.
According to Continental, the defect involves an issue with the airbags’ electrical systems that can cause the airbags to either (i) deploy without warning or (ii) fail to deploy in a crash – both of which create obvious and extreme risks for drivers and their passengers.
To date, at least two injuries have been linked to defective Continental airbags and there have been numerous additional reports of Continental airbags failing to deploy.
Have You Been Injured by a Defective Airbag?
Together, the Takata and Continental airbag recalls cover nearly 30 million vehicles. To put this in perspective, as a rough average, about 15 million new vehicles are sold in the United States each year.
These recalls are major issues and the manufacturers simply don’t have the resources to fix people’s vehicles fast enough to allow them to drive safely on the roads. At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we are actively representing clients who have been injured by Takata’s faulty airbags. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed and you believe that a faulty airbag may be to blame, we urge you to contact one of our Houston accident lawyers immediately for a free consultation.
Contact Morrow & Sheppard LLP about Your Airbag Defect Claim
The lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP provide experienced legal representation for accident victims and their families in Houston, TX and nationwide. To discuss your case for free, call (800) 489-2216 or request a complimentary case evaluation online today.