Takata Exploding Airbags

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 18 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


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:

Personal Injuries

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
  • Compound fractures
  • Burns
  • Facial or cranial fractures
  • Rib, Sternum, and Clavicle fractures
  • Spinal Fractures
  • Serious cuts or avulsions
  • Injuries related to metal shrapnel
  • Permanent scarring
  • 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.,/p>

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. 

Background on Takata Airbag Defects

On high alert due to GM’s unprecedented series of recalls that kicked off in 2014, NHTSA issued a consumer advisory to all potentially impacted vehicle owners on Oct. 22, 2014.

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.

Model Model Year
3.2CL 2003
3.2TL 2002-03
ILX 2013-16
ILX Hybrid 2013-14
MDX 2003-06
RDX 2007-16
RL 2005-12
TL 2009-14
TSX 2009-14
ZDX 2010-13
Model Model Year
A3 2006-13
A4 Avant 2005-08
A4 Cabriolet 2006-09
A4 Sedan 2005-08
A5 Cabriolet 2010-11
A6 Avant 2003-11
A6 Sedan 2005-11
Q5 2009-12
R8 2017
RS 4 Cabriolet 2008
RS 4 Sedan 2007-08
S4 Avant 2005-08
S4 Cabriolet 2007-09
S4 Sedan 2005-08
S5 Cabriolet 2010-12
S6 Sedan 2007-11
TT 2016-17
Model Model Year
1 Series 2008-13
3 Series 2000-13
5 Series 2002-03
X1 2011-15
X3 2007-10
X5 2003-13
X6 2008-14
X6 Hybrid 2010-11
Model Model Year
Escalade - includes ESV and EXT 2007-14
Model Model Year
Avalanche 2007-13
Silverado HD 2007-14
Silverado LD 2007-13
Suburban 2007-14
Tahoe 2007-14
Model Model Year
300 2005-15
Aspen 2007-09
Crossfire 2007-08
Model Model Year
Sterling Bullet 2008-09
Model Model Year
Dodge Sprinter 2007-09
Freightliner Sprinter 2007-17
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2010-17
Model Model Year
Challenger 2008-14
Charger 2006-15
Dakota 2005-11
Durango 2004-09
Magnum 2005-08
Ram 1500, 2500, 3500 Pickup 2003-08
Ram 2500 Pickup 2005-09
Ram 3500 Cab Chassis 2007-10
Ram 3500 Pickup 2006-09
Ram 4500, 5500 Cab Chassis 2008-10
Model Model Year
458 Italia 2010-15
458 Speciale 2014-15
458 Speciale A 2015
458 Spider 2012-15
488 GTB 2016-17
488 Spider 2016-17
California 2009-14
California T 2015-17
F12 2013-17
F12 tdf 2016-17
F60 2016
FF 2012-16
GTC4Lusso 2017
Model Model Year
Karma 2012
Model Model Year
Edge 2007-10
Fusion 2006-12
GT 2005-06
Mustang 2005-14
Ranger 2004-11
Model Model Year
Sierra HD 2007-14
Sierra LD 2007-13
Yukon 2007-14
Yukon XL 2007-14
Model Model Year
Accord 2001-12
Civic 2001-11
Civic Hybrid 2003-11
Civic NGV 2001-11
Civic Crosstour 2010-15
CR-V 2002-11
CR-Z 2011-15
Element 2003-11
FCX Clarity 2010-14
Fit 2007-13
Fit EV 2013-14
Insight 2010-14
Odyssey 2002-04
Pilot 2003-15
Ridgeline 2006-14
Model Model Year
FX 2003-08
I30 2001
I35 2002-04
M 2006-10
QX4 2002-03
Model Model Year
XF 2009-15
Model Model Year
Wrangler 2007-16
Model Model Year
Range Rover 2007-12
Model Model Year
ES 350 2007-12
GX 460 2010-17
IS 250, 350 2006-13
IS 250C, 350C 2010-15
IS F 2008-14
LFA 2012
SC430 2002-10
Model Model Year
MKX 2007-10
MKZ 2006-12
Zephyr 2006-12
Model Model Year
B-Series 2004-09
CX-7 2007-12
CX-9 2007-15
Mazda 6 2003-11
Mazda Speed6 2006-07
MPV 2004-06
RX-8 2004-11
Model Model Year
570 2016-17
650S 2015-16
675LT 2016
MP4-12C 2012-14
P1 2011-15
Model Model Year
C-Class 2005-14
E-Class 2010-11
E-Class Cabrio 2011-17
E-Class Coupe 2010-17
GL-Class 2009-12
GLK-Class 2010-15
ML-Class 2009-10
R-Class 2009-12
SLK-Class 2007-08
SLS-Class 2011-15
Model Model Year
Milan 2006-11
Model Model Year
i-MiEV 2012-17
Lancer 2004-07
Lancer Evolution 2004-06
Lancer Sportback 2004
Raider 2006-09
Model Model Year
Maxima 2001-03
Pathfinder 2002-04
Sentra 2002-06
Versa 2007-12
Model Model Year
Vibe 2003-10
Model Model Year
9-2x 2005-06
9-3 2006-11
9-5 2006-09
Model Model Year
Astra 2008-09
Model Model Year
xB 2008-15
Model Model Year
Baja 2003-06
Forester 2009-13
Impreza 2004-11
Legacy 2003-14
Outback 2003-14
Tribeca 2006-14
WRX/STI 2012-14
Model Model Year
Model S 2012-16
Model Model Year
4Runner 2010-16
Corolla 2003-13
Corolla Matrix 2003-08
Matrix 2009-13
RAV4 2004-05
Sequoia 2002-06
Sienna 2011-14
Tundra 2003-06
Yaris Hatch Back 2006-11
Yaris Sedan 2007-12
Model Model Year
CC 2009-17
Eos 2010-14
Golf 2010-14
Golf R 2013
GTI 2009-13
Passat 2012-14
Passat Sedan 2006-10
Passat Wagon 2006-10

See more about Personal Injury and Wrongful Death litigation >