Takata Airbag Lawsuit Attorneys
Through Takata airbag lawsuits, the attorneys at our dangerous products law firm can help injured parties and their loved ones pursue compensation for medical expenses and other damages.
Airbags made by Takata Corporation and installed in millions of vehicles across the world since 2001 have been known to explode with such force that they propel metal or plastic shrapnel into vehicle cabins. Though this issue was first documented in the late 1990s, the first Takata airbag recall was not issued until 2008, and as of July 2015 the number of vehicles affected by Takata airbag recalls exceeded 58 million. To date, at least eight people have died and more than 100 have suffered serious injuries due to defective Takata airbags.
Takata Airbag Recall: Exploding Airbags Project Shrapnel into Vehicles
The issue behind the Takata airbag recalls—the largest automotive recall in U.S. history—is the ammonium nitrate propellant used to inflate the airbags quickly in the event of an accident. It has become apparent that the chemical was not stored or handled properly, and this can make it unstable and cause airbags to deploy with extreme force, even in very minor collisions. In multiple cases, this violent Takata airbag deployment can cause shards of metal or plastic shrapnel from the propellant container to fly through vehicle cabins, causing serious injury or even death to vehicle occupants.
First responders on the scenes of accidents where Takata airbags deployed with violent force have stated that victims are so severely injured that they appear to have been shot or stabbed. At this time, roughly one in seven cars in use in the United States may contain one or more Takata airbags flawed by potentially fatal defects.
The most recent list of vehicles affected by Takata airbag recalls provided by Car and Driver includes:
- Acura: 2002–2003 TL; 2003 CL; 2003–2006 MDX; 2005 Acura RL
- BMW (approximately 765,000): 2000–2006 3-series sedan and wagon; 2002–2006 3-series coupe and convertible; 2001–2006 M3 coupe and convertible; 2002–2003 5-series and M5; 2003–2004 X5
- Chevrolet (330,198, including GMC): 2007–2008 Chevrolet Silverado HD
- Chrysler: 2005–2010 Chrysler 300; 2007–2008 Aspen
- Daimler (40,061): 2006–2008 Dodge Sprinter 2500 and 3500; 2006–2008 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 and 3500
- Dodge/Ram (approximately 5.63 million, including Chrysler, not including Daimler-built Sprinter): 2003–2008 Dodge Ram 1500; 2005–2010 Charger and Magnum; 2005–2011 Dakota; 2004–2008 Durango; 2003–2009 Ram 2500 and 3500; 2008–2010 Challenger, Ram 4500, and Ram 5500
- Ford (1,380,604): 2004–2006 Ranger; 2005–2006 GT; 2005–2014 Mustang
- GMC: 2007–2008 GMC Sierra HD
- Honda (approximately 6.28 million, including Acura): 2001–2007 Accord (four-cylinder); 2001–2002 Accord (V-6); 2001–2005 Civic; 2002–2006 CR-V; 2002–2004 Odyssey; 2003–2005 Civic Hybrid; 2003–2011 Element; 2003–2008 Pilot; 2006 Ridgeline
- Infiniti: 2002–2004 Infiniti I30/I35; 2002–2003 Infiniti QX4; 2003–2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45; 2006 Infiniti M35/M45
- Lexus: 2002–2007 SC430
- Mazda (444,907): 2003–2008 Mazda 6; 2006–2007 Mazdaspeed 6; 2004–2008 Mazda RX-8; 2004–2005 MPV; 2004–2006 B-series
- Mitsubishi (104,994): 2004–2006 Lancer and Lancer Evolution; 2006–2010 Raider
- Nissan (approximately 1,091,000, including Infiniti): 2002–2003 Maxima; 2002–2004 Pathfinder; 2002–2006 Nissan Sentra
- Pontiac (approximately 300,000): 2003–2007 Vibe
- Saab: 2005 9-2X
- Subaru (approximately 80,000): 2003–2005 Baja, Legacy, Outback; 2004–2005 Impreza, Impreza WRX, Impreza WRX STI
- Toyota (approximately 2,915,000, including Lexus): 2002–2007 Toyota Sequoia; 2003–2007 Corolla and Corolla Matrix; 2003–2006 Tundra; 2004–2005 RAV4
Takata Ignored Airbag Defects: a Brief Timeline
Takata first began to use ammonium nitrate as an airbag propellant when they discovered that tetrazole, another possible propellant, was too expensive. Takata internal documents from the late 1990s and quoted by CNN Money show that Takata officials were warned that “Pure ammonium nitrate is problematic because many gas generant compositions containing the oxidizer are thermally unstable.” In subsequent years, multiple additional warnings about unstable Takata airbags were issued by Takata engineers, some of whom even predicted that defective Takata airbags would lead to the injury or death of innocent passengers. Despite these warnings, nothing was done. Now, multiple whistleblowers have claimed that Takata took great steps to hide evidence of defective airbags, including deleting testing data from company computers.
- In 2004, Honda reported the first Takata airbag injury and an initial Takata airbag recall applying to 4,000 Honda vehicles was issued.
- In 2009, Honda and Acura issued 510,000 more Takata airbag recalls.
- In 2010, Honda recalled another 438,000 vehicles.
- In 2011, Honda recalled 900,000 more vehicles.
- In 2013, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Toyota recalled 3.5 million vehicles with Takata airbags.
- In 2014, more than 6.1 million additional Takata airbag recalls were issued.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has since criticized Takata for failing to remedy this defect. The company has been charged substantial fines by the U.S. government and has been the subject of congressional hearings and investigations due to their negligence, and has been accused of failing to cooperate with these investigations.
In May 2015, Takata finally admitted to knowingly shipping millions of airbags which may be subjected to the defect leading to so many deaths and injuries.
Takata Airbag Lawsuits
At this time, multiple individuals have filed Takata airbag lawsuits in both state and federal courts. Some of these people have suffered serious injuries after a Takata airbag violently deployed, and others have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one due to a defective Takata airbag. These plaintiffs demand substantial compensation based on claims that the company was negligent in their duty to provide a safe product and that they took steps to hide airbag defects in order to protect their own profits. If you believe you have grounds for a Takata airbag lawsuit, you may be owed compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact a dangerous products lawyer you can trust to learn more about your rights in a free and confidential legal consultation.