If your vehicle is one of the millions impacted by the recall of Takata airbags, you were likely shocked to learn that you were—or still are—driving around with a very dangerous airbag that could seriously injure you or your passengers. One in eight Americans drives a vehicle with a potentially defective airbag, and one in five drivers world-wide drive a vehicle with a potentially defective airbag. These defects have allegedly caused at least 23 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide. Takata airbags are still being used for replacements and in new vehicles, despite being the source of the largest consumer product recall in U.S. history with roughly 70 million vehicles recalled throughout the nation, and nearly 100 million worldwide.
June 27, 2017
Case Update: TAKATA CORP. FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY IN U.S., JAPAN
Takata Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, months after agreeing to pay a myriad of fees, including roughly $1 billion to the U.S. in criminal penalties, related to the mass recall of its defective airbags.
In a hearing June 27, 2017, Motley Rice attorney Kevin Dean asked the Court to consider forming a committee to protect plaintiffs’ interests throughout the bankruptcy proceedings. Read more on the request.
Motley Rice is representing people who were seriously injured in an accident involving a vehicle recalled for the Takata airbag defect. Review our list of recalled vehicles. To see if your specific vehicle is included in the recall, visit the NHTSA website and enter your VIN.
Takata Catastrophic Injury Claims
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an accident involving a recalled vehicle and you believe that those injuries were caused by a defective Takata airbag, you may have legal rights. Please contact Motley Rice attorney Kevin Dean by e-mail or at 1.800.768.4026 for more information.
Motley Rice Takata airbag test shows what happens when a defective airbag is deployed:
Violent and overly aggressive Takata airbag deployments, ruptures and explosions may cause motorists and passengers to suffer severe injuries, and possibly death. Injuries may include:
Arm breaks above the wrists
Excessive black eyes
Neck damage or break
Brain injury or concussion
Facial or cranial fractures
Rib, sternum and/or clavicle fractures
Serious cuts or avulsions
Injuries related to metal shrapnel
Hearing damage or loss
Vision damage or loss
Vocal damage or loss
Our Experience and Leadership in the Takata Airbag Lawsuits
Motley Rice vehicle defect attorney Kevin Dean has been reviewing and studying the issues involved with defective Takata airbags since he filed a wrongful death action in November 2014. Dean and his forensic team have investigated more than 100 cases.
In 2015, we, along with co-counsel, reached a confidential settlement for Law Suk Leh, a Malaysian woman, and her unborn baby, Elsa Mia Law Caido, who were allegedly killed by the violent explosion of metal shrapnel expelled from a Takata airbag in a car that had not been recalled. Leh was 42-years-old and nearly nine months pregnant at the time of the crash that happened on July 27, 2014, in Sibu, Sarawak, East Malaysia while driving her 2003 Honda City Car. Upon impact, metal shrapnel flew out of the airbag and caused a severe puncture wound in her neck leading to Law’s death. Her baby, Elsa Mia Law Caido, was delivered, but passed away days later.
In 2016, we reached a confidential settlement in the case of a woman, who allegedly suffered permanent vocal cord damage when shrapnel from a Takata airbag cut her throat during an accident involving her 2003 Honda Civic. (Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)
Having experience in other vehicle defect cases and intensely studying defective airbags, Kevin Dean is frequently a resource for media reporting on the issue, including CBS Evening News. Watch Kevin’s interview with CBS Evening News about the Takata recalls:
Largest Auto Recall in U.S. History
On May 19, 2015, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind and U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that Takata Corp. had declared an estimated 33.8 million vehicles manufactured by 11 different automakers defective, almost doubling the then U.S. Takata recall number of 17 million. NHTSA researchers stated at the time that this is not only the largest U.S. auto recall in history, but possibly the largest in all of U.S. consumer product recalls. Rosekind added that NHTSA was establishing its own testing program of Takata airbag inflators, but that the development and installation of safe replacement parts may take years to complete. Secretary Foxx said this was "the most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history. Read More.
Takata Fined and Ordered to Phase Out Ammonium Nitrate Propellant
On Nov. 3, 2015 Takata was fined $70 million with the possibility of an additional $130 million penalty if the airbag company failed to follow orders issued by NHTSA, including the appointment of an independent safety monitor. If imposed, the $200 million fine would be the largest civil penalty in U.S. DOT history. Takata was also ordered to phase out the production and sales of airbag inflators that use ammonium nitrate propellant.
On Jan. 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Takata agreed to plead guilty to a single felony count of wire fraud and pay $1 billion in criminal penalties.
The advisory urged owners in humid climates such as Florida, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and areas along the Gulf of Mexico to act immediately as the defect may be related to prolonged exposure to hot, humid environments. Honda, in particular, expanded its recall on Nov. 6, 2014, to include all high humidity states in which the recalled cars were ever sold or registered, including: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Saipan, Guam, and American Samoa. However, many called for the immediate recall of all vehicles equipped with Takata airbags.
The number of fatalities linked to defective Takata airbags was raised to five on Nov. 13, 2014, following reports from Malaysia of a Honda driver dying after her Takata airbag exploded.
On Dec. 3, 2014, Takata officials refused to expand the recall, despite requests from NHTSA. However, three vehicle manufacturers voluntarily expanded their Takata-related recalls:
Ford expanded its recall to affected vehicles in all 50 states.
Honda opened its recall to affected vehicles in all 50 states.
Chrysler recalled more of its 2003 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups that were “sold or ever registered in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands."
On April 16, 2015, Nissan expanded its recall of Nissan Sentras to include 45,000 more cars with model years 2004 to 2006 located in certain areas of high humidity along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Nissan issued this expansion after learning of a 20-year-old L.A. woman injured by flying shrapnel ejected from a Takata airbag in a previously unrecalled 2006 Nissan Sentra. Motley Rice attorney Kevin Dean filed a personal injury suit against Takata on her behalf.
In May 2015, Takata announced that approximately 33.8 million vehicles may contain defective airbags that may explode with excessive force, shooting metal shrapnel at passengers and causing serious injury or even death; sometimes when no evident airbag-deploying event has occurred. In making this announcement, Takata also agreed to a consent order with NHTSA regarding its obligations and responsibilities in the recall process, and released four defect information reports regarding the details of the affected devices.
The estimate of affected vehicles was later adjusted to 23.4 million by NHTSA on Sept. 1, 2015, "based on the most recent and accurate information provided by the affected automakers, and includes approximately 4 million vehicles that have already been repaired."
On May 4, 2016, NHTSA announced an expanded recall of 40 million faulty airbag inflators, in addition to the 28.8 million inflators already recalled, increasing the number of vehicles recalled in the U.S to roughly 70 million. An estimated 100 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide. The phases of the recall are planned to take place between May 2016 and December 2019.
Reports released in June and July 2016 by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation revealed that seven manufacturers —Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Volkswagen, Ferrari, Daimler Vans, and Mercedes-Benz— are still installing the Takata airbags in new vehicles, even though they are scheduled to be recalled by the end of 2018. The reports also revealed that the percentage of defective vehicles that had been repaired remained “unacceptably low.” Completion rates ranged from .04 to 39.5 percent, according to data provided by 11 automakers in March 2016, the report stated.
In June 2016, NHTSA urged owners of certain 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles to immediately repair or cease driving these automobiles after new data concludes they have a 50 percent chance of rupture if involved in a crash. See the list of recalled vehicles below.
Vehicles Recalled for Takata Airbag Defects
The following vehicles have been recalled for potentially defective Takata airbags, with an emphasis on cars purchased or regularly used in high-humidity states. To check if your specific vehicle is included in the recall, visit NHTSA’s website and enter your VIN.