February 6, 2015

Takata Exploding Airbag Recall Update

Posted by Garrett J. Bradley on Feb 6, 2015 7:59:29 AM

AirbagFive deaths and more than 100 serious injuries have been linked to Takata Corporation’s exploding airbags manufactured for several carmakers. The propellant used in Takata airbags, ammonium nitrate, can degrade over time. When this occurs, instead of deploying safely, the airbags explode, spraying metal fragments like shrapnel through the passenger compartment, causing injuries and death. Thornton Law Firm continues to work with car owners affected by the Takata airbag defects. Here are the latest updates on the exploding airbags and the ongoing recall:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just recalled 2.1 million vehicles that had already been recalled and repaired. This further recall was required when NHTSA received reports that 39 vehicles whose airbags had been repaired had then gone on to experience a second airbag failure after the repair. These vehicles, many of which contained Takata airbags, used an electronic airbag control module made by TRW Automotive. The earlier recalls tried to fix the problem by adding a filter. This partial fix did not work reliably, so the new recall will replace the entire electronic airbag control module.

The recalled vehicles include:

  • 2003 Acura MDX
  • 2003-2004 Dodge Viper
  • 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty
  • 2002-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2004-2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003-2004 Pontiac Vibe
  • 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla
  • 2003-2004 Toyota Matrix
  • 2003-2004 Toyota Avalon

These electronic airbag control modules are in short supply. NHTSA has taken the unusual step of recommending that drivers who haven’t yet had their cars fixed under the earlier recalls undergo the partial repair until enough of the complete modules are available. In other words, while the partial repair isn’t perfect, it’s better than no repair at all.

In addition, a fifth death caused by an exploding Takata airbag has been reported to NHTSA. On January 18, 2015, the driver of a 2002 Honda Acura was killed when the airbag exploded in what should have been a minor two-car collision. Honda has admitted that the car was recalled to replace its driver-side air-bag inflator in 2011, but the work was never done. The car owner, who had purchased the used car within the year, may not even have been aware of the recall.

How do you find out if your used car has a defective airbag? There are several ways to get information on recalls. You can go to the NHTSA website, safercar.gov, and enter your car’s VIN number to find out if there are pending recalls. You can also go to the website of your car brand (for example, Honda or Ford). Or you can contact a dealer who sells your brand of car. Consumer Reports also has a website for recalls.

Thornton Law Firm is currently investigating claims on behalf of consumers across the country who own cars containing Takata airbags. If you have been injured by an explosively deployed Takata airbag, call the Thornton Law Firm consumer class action attorneys at 888-341-1405 or tell us your story here. All consultations are free and confidential. The time limits for making legal claims are short so seek legal advice without delay.

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