As the Texas airbag injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard have reported, Takata recently widened the scope of its defective airbag recall, making it the largest automotive recall in United States history. Government officials forced Takata to issue the recall because the airbags have already caused at least 100 personal injuries and six deaths all around the country.
In this article, the Houston injury lawyers provide an update on recent developments.
Takata: Replacement Airbags Also Defective
In a shocking June 2, 2015 development, Takata executive vice president Kevin Kennedy announced that the replacement airbags installed to resolve the issues also contain one of the defective parts that is causing issues.
The defective component, known as a”batwing inflator,” causes gases in the airbags to expand too rapidly, resulting in an explosion that propels dangerous metal shards into vehicle occupants.
Because they are defective, Takata now must recall the replacement airbags as well. Second recalls are generally not effective because, understandably, users who have already replaced their airbags assume the issue has been resolved, and that additional recall literature is not meant for them.
Takata and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have both acknowledged that they do not know whether any of the replacement airbags are safe.
Takata: Still Trying to Identify the Cause
Takata has hired a German company, Fraunhofer ICT, to figure out what defects in the Takata airbags permit moisture to enter, leading to the deadly ruptures that have injured so many.
Fraunhofer claims there are at least four factors that contribute to the issues: (1) defective inflater components; (2) where the inflater and air-bag system are positioned in vehicles; (3) exposure to heat and humidity; and (4) manufacturing variability.
O-rings used to seal inflator containers have been singled out as one of the defective components that allow moisture to enter. Another is the aluminum tape used to seal holes in the inflators, which appears to fail over time.
Congress to Takata: What Took So Long?
On June 2, 2015, Congress conducted a hearing into the Takata recall. Many members had the same question: what took so long?
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan, inquired, “Six months ago I asked the question: What should I say to the mom in Michigan who asks me if she and her family are safe behind the wheel?. . . Six months later . . . I have to ask the same question.”
Michael Burgess, a Republican from Texas, likewise noted “[it] isn’t clear … why we are launching this national recall now instead of almost a year ago when we had almost the same information.”
Morrow & Sheppard Assist Injured Victims of Takata Airbags
The Houston airbag injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard are prepared to assist victims of dangerous Takata airbags nationwide.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in motor vehicle or trucking accident, regardless of whether an airbag was involved, we can help.
Please contact us now for a 100% free and confidential consultation. It is important that you contact our Texas injury lawyers as soon as possible so that your claim will be filed on time, and so that necessary steps can be taken to investigate your claim.
You can also click here for more information about products liability cases that our Houston personal injury lawyers handle.