In the middle of January Toyota made an announcement that it would be recalling 1.7 million vehicles because of faulty passenger airbag inflators. Unfortunately, vehicle recalls just like this one are more common of an occurrence than many people realize. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards are in place to keep both passengers and drivers safe. When there is a manufacturer’s defect or when the manufacturer fails to comply with these safety standards, an auto recall may be necessary.
The current problem Toyota is facing is one they are no stranger to. The issue involves Takata airbag inflators, which they had a problem with several years ago, resulting in a recall of more than 34 million vehicles. This is an ongoing problem Toyota has been faced with, but they aren’t the only ones. According to the Associated Press, the faulty Takata airbags have affected virtually all major automakers.
What is the Problem?
The Takata airbags (manufactured by Japanese manufacturer Takata Corp) were made with ammonium nitrate, a chemical that has a high chance of sending fiery shrapnel into passengers upon deployment. Over the last several years, 23 people have died as a result of defective Takata airbags. While the recall is for a reported 1.7 million Toyota vehicles, nearly 1.3 million are in the United States, including models such as the Sienna, Corolla, and 4Runner. You can check if your vehicle is part of this current recall by visiting Toyota’s website.
The personal injury attorneys at Rad Law Firm have represented clients throughout Texas on cases similar to this, including past defective Takata airbags. When airbags work as they should, they can help protect vehicle occupants, preventing injuries and death. However, when these safety devices malfunction, it could have devastating repercussions. Takata airbags have a history of being defective, having caused countless injuries and deaths over the years. If you drive a Toyota, we encourage you to check the website listed above to see if your vehicle is one of the million-plus affected. Our attorneys have witnessed firsthand how critical airbags are to saving lives and preventing injuries. When an airbag is improperly designed, it can result in serious injuries or death. Some of the ways a defective airbag can fail include:
- Injure an occupant before it is all the way inflated
- Strike an occupant with excessive force after being pushed out of its compartment
- Deploy unnecessarily in a minor accident
- Rupture and send shrapnel into the vehicle compartment (such as the current problem with Takata airbags)
The majority of the vehicles recalled in January were manufactured between 2010 and 2015. With 23 deaths and nearly 300 injuries worldwide, the Takata airbags pose a serious threat to vehicle occupants.
The attorneys at Rad Law Firm are keeping a close eye on this recent development and are here to answer any questions you may have. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury because of a defective product, please contact us today and schedule a free consultation. Whether the airbag did or did not deploy, it is imperative you discuss your case for a potential defective airbag claim.