In 1980, Ford recalled 21 million cars with transmission problems, and until recently, that was a record. Takata airbag manufacturers recalled 18 million vehicles recently, and the company now expanded that recall to total approximately 34 million vehicles with defective airbags, in Nebraska and elsewhere. The airbags that were intended to protect motorists from serious injury when accidents occur have turned out to be a severe threat, and multiple lives have been lost.
The Takata airbags were installed in vehicles made by many manufacturers, including Honda, Chrysler, BMW, Ford and others. The airbags have proved to inflate unexpectedly with a force strong enough to cause explosions. The cause of the excessive inflation has not yet been determined, and recalled cars are fitted with replacement airbags. However, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted that it is not known whether the replacement airbags are safe.
The severe injuries and deaths that have resulted from the exploding airbags were caused by shrapnel shooting into the cabs of vehicles. Those who did not lose their lives suffered severe bodily injuries from flying shrapnel, and some victims even suffered eye damage. Takata was fined by the NHTSA for its lack of cooperation in the investigation and had to pay $14,000 per day until the comprehensive recall was announced.
Any Nebraska motorists who have suffered a serious injury that was caused by an auto defect may be facing medical costs that can quickly become crippling. Financial relief may be pursued, but taking on a large multi-national corporation may be intimidating. Fortunately, the support of experienced attorneys who focus on protecting the rights of consumers is available to guide victims in pursuing product liability claims.
Source: FOX CT, “Airbag maker Takata announces largest auto recall ever”, May 19, 2015