• NHTSA Warns Consumers About Defective Airbags
  • December 11, 2014 | Author: Stephen J. Burg
  • Law Firm: Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. - Englewood Office
  • The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is continuing its investigation into defective Takata Corporation airbags in American cars and trucks, and is urging consumers to get their airbags replaced if their vehicles are affected.

    Newest recall
    On Oct. 20, the NHTSA issued another recall notice and consumer advisory for people who may own a car or truck with defective airbags. People who own models of cars or trucks from these manufacturers should check to see if their vehicle is part of the recall:

    • Toyota

    • Honda

    • Mazda

    • BMW

    • Nissan

    • Mitsubishi

    • Subaru

    • Chrysler

    • Ford

    • GM

    The issue appears to be linked to temperature and humidity. Because of this, vehicles in certain regions of the U.S. are more susceptible to the problem than others. The NHTSA stated it is urgent for people living in Florida, Puerto Rico and regions of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana near the Gulf of Mexico to have their vehicles inspected and repaired immediately.

    "Responding to these recalls, whether old or new, is essential to personal safety and it will help aid our ongoing investigation into Takata airbags and what appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman. "However, we're leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue."

    Discovering the problem
    Following six reports of airbags unexpectedly rupturing in Florida and Puerto Rico and causing harm to drivers, the NHTSA opened an investigation on June 11, 2014. The administration found the incidents were linked to airbag modules manufactured by Japanese company Takata. The airbags have defective propellant and inflators, which can cause them to deploy unexpectedly with the possibility of metal fragments flying into the vehicle and hurting the occupants.

    The vehicles affected
    Since the beginning of the investigation, the number of vehicles on the list of those affected by the airbags has grown to 7.8 million in the U.S. alone, according to Car and Driver. The NHTSA originally thought only six makes were affected by the airbags because of a recall previously made by Takata in 2013. However, more automakers began to issue recalls for the airbags throughout 2014.

    Injuries related to defect
    A report by The New York Times stated at least two deaths and 30 injuries have been linked to wrongly deployed airbags in Honda vehicles. Various other reports state even more injuries can be attributed to the defect and as far back as 2004.