At least eleven people have died in the United States as the result of a particular defective product—and one that you may not suspect. The very airbags that are installed in cars to keep people safe have been killing people. This does not apply to all airbags, only those manufactured by the Takata Corporation.
In perhaps one of the largest examples ever of a bad product going to market, manufacturers have been forced to recall millions of vehicles, but for some people, those recalls are too little, too late.
Ms. Delia Robles is the latest victim. She was killed while driving her Honda Civic in California. A truck turned left in front of her, and she was unable to stop in time to prevent a collision. According to her family, she would have been driving at 25 miles per hour. While traditionally a slow speed, the crash was nonetheless fatal due in large part to the defective airbag that inflated.
The Takata airbags are defective because the metal canister can explode, sending shrapnel throughout the vehicle. Ammonium nitrate creates that small explosion, but given its sensitivity to heat and humidity, it tends to burn too quickly, causing the explosion.
This is perhaps the largest recall in history, with over 100 million inflators being recalled worldwide.
Warning from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Concerns over Takata’s airbags have existed since at least 2008. However, with the death toll mounting, the NHTSA conducted additional tests, concluding that the airbags are extremely dangerous due to the Takata inflators.
Their reports show that there is a fifty percent chance of the inflator exploding if you get into a crash. Those are terrible odds. For unsuspecting drivers like Ms. Robles, those odds resulted in a sudden wrongful death and significant grief for her surviving family members.
The recalls extend to Honda Civics, Accords, Acuras, Odysseys, CR-Vs, and Pilots that were manufactured between 2001 and 2003.
Is Your Honda Safe?
There were around one million Hondas sold that were equipped with the defective and dangerous airbags. Driving one of these vehicles is unwise because you could be putting your life and the life of your family at risk.
The best way to find out if your car is part of the recall is to visit safercar.gov. You can enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) and the site will let you know whether there have been any recalls issued that affect your vehicle. At least 300,000 vehicles have not been repaired yet—and yours could be one of them.
Your Rights in a Defective Product Case
As a consumer, you have the right to expect the products you use to be safe, especially if you are using them as intended. A defective airbag, or any defective product, can put that trust in jeopardy—and your wellbeing at risk.
If you are then harmed by the defect, you have the right to sue the product’s manufacturer. Additionally, if you are the family member of an accident victim who died, you could sue on behalf of their estate. It is necessary to hold negligent manufacturers accountable so that they do not continue to put people at risk by selling a faulty product or device.
Get Help from an Orange County Product Liability Attorney
One of our attorneys can answer your questions, provide you with sound legal advice, and represent you both during negotiations and in court.