Japanese-based auto parts manufacturer Takata Corp. recently initiated the largest vehicle recall in United States history. For the last decade, representatives of Takata have denied that its products are defective, despite reports that motorists were suffering severe injuries and even death as a result of the automaker's exploding airbags. In May 2015, Takata announced that its airbags were defective and agreed to the recall. Based on its figures, the recall affects nearly one in every seven vehicles in the United States.
The defective nature of Takata's airbags lies in their tendency to explode violently when they deploy, causing shrapnel and other material to accelerate through the vehicle's passenger department. In some instances, the airbags deploy suddenly and without warning, posing serious dangers to occupants. To date, at least six fatalities and over 100 injuries have been tied to the defective airbags.
According to the United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Takata's refusal to take responsibility for its defective products will no longer be tolerated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has taken a decidedly more aggressive approach to reviewing and investigating allegations regarding Takata's products.
Regarding the recall, Takata's representatives said that the company is "committed to continuing to work closely with NHTSA and our automaker customers to do everything we can to advance the safety of drivers."
Several popular automakers use Takata airbags in their vehicles, including BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Subaru. There are a number of ways to determine whether your vehicle is subject to the recall. If you know or have access to your vehicle's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you can enter it on www.Safecar.gov to see whether your vehicle is subject to the recall.
Airbags are designed to help save your life in the event of a serious motor vehicle accident. When an airbag is defective, however, it can lead to serious and dangerous injuries, including severe whiplash, blindness, broken bones, partial decapitation, eye injuries, quadriplegia, and even death. These injuries are particularly devastating when they affect a child.
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries as the result of a defective airbag, you may be entitled to compensation. Florida law allows defective airbag injury victims to bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer. In general, Florida law requires a plaintiff to establish four elements in order to recover compensation from the manufacturer: (1) the plaintiff suffered injuries, (2) the product was defective, (3) the defect was the cause of the plaintiff's injury, and (4) the plaintiff was using the product as intended at the time of the injury.
The products liability lawyers at Lusk Drasites & Tolisano have helped countless residents throughout Southwest Florida assert their rights against a manufacturer, including in Naples, Fort Myers, and Cape Coral. Establishing liability in a defective product case can be difficult and often requires the assistance of accident reconstructionists and other litigation experts. We have worked with many skilled and experienced litigation experts to build a strong case against a defective product manufacturer and can do the same for you. We offer a free consultation, so call us now at 1-800-283-7442 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.