We’re just wrapping up the first month of 2018, and America’s automotive industry is already experiencing the largest recall in its history. After 20 people have died and almost 200 injured, Takata, a Japanese air-bag manufacturer, has just recalled another 3.3 million defective airbags.
The recall affects specific vehicles produced in 2009, 2010, and 2013 by Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Tesla. Later this month, each automaker plans to file a list with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration outlining each of their respective vehicles that need to be recalled.
Takata’s recall is in response to a chemical flaw that could unexpectedly catapult scalding pieces of metal toward unsuspecting drivers. Ammonium nitrate is the chemical Takata used to quickly inflate airbags during a crash. However, the chemical depreciates in humid weather or high temperatures, which causes a metal container within the airbag to blow up. Consequently, regions with high humidity and temperatures will be among the first to be addressed.
When you purchase any type of product – be it a vehicle, toy, computer, etc. – you should be able to expect that it has been thoroughly thought through and deemed safe by its engineers and manufacturers on every level. Neglecting to completely test a product under various conditions and stressors, especially products such as airbags that are designed to keep people safe, is irresponsible and life-threatening. As a consumer, you should not have to suffer pain or indebt yourself to medical bills because of someone else’s carelessness.
It’s unfortunate timing that Takata’s recall came just days before the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), but it is a timely reminder to educate yourself on every product you intend to purchase, including your vehicle. Research who manufacturers which parts, how reputable each manufacturer is, and any potential recalls or setbacks the vehicle may have. As Detroiters, we are proud to talk up NAIAS, and we know that the hosts are just as happy to discuss the vehicles on their floor. So please, ask questions! And have fun, of course.
If you or a loved one have been or become a victim of a faulty airbag or any other product, please contact us right away. We know the insurance companies’ tendencies to deny claims of product liability, and we know what it takes to get you the compensation and justice you deserve.
For more information on product liability and a list of commonly recalled products you may have in your home, please click here.