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Drivers May Be Ticketed For Failing To Comply With Motor Vehicle Recalls

More must be done to get drivers to take the exploding Takata airbag recall more seriously

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - Malaysia may set the example for imposing penalties on motor vehicle owners that do not comply with the Takata airbag recall. Seven people have been killed by exploding Takata airbags in the country, the most recent in May of 2018. Malaysia's hot, humid climate is the type of environment that causes the unstable ammonium nitrate propellant to explode unexpectedly and with severe force. The exploding Takata airbag cannister sends razor-sharp shrapnel into the face, neck, and upper torso of the driver and the passengers. A one-inch piece of metal was found embedded in his neck of the most recent Malaysian Takata airbag fatality. The metal shard severed his carotid artery and caused him to bleed to death. Takata airbags have killed at least 25 people and injured hundreds since 2015 when the first Takata airbag death was reported in the United States. The Takata airbag recall has grown to include over 50,000,000 cars and trucks. Around half of recalled motor vehicle owners have taken the recall notice seriously by contacting their local dealership to have the airbag replaced. Malaysian authorities had sent the latest victim 25 previous notices. The government's frustration in getting the attention of motor vehicle owners has prompted the initiation of a fine for failing to comply with the recall, and other countries are following suit.

Punitive measures are being considered in the United States as well to enforce the largest motor vehicle recall in history. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration may implore drivers to take the recall seriously by preventing vehicle owners from registering their vehicle or renewing their driver's license. The bill before Congress called the Recall Act would require vehicle owners to make the necessary repairs to their recalled vehicle before the registration can be renewed. Legislators have also sponsored the Used Car Safety Recall Act that takes used car sales and leasing to task. According to, "This bill prohibits a dealer from selling or leasing a used passenger motor vehicle until a defect of the motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment or noncompliance with a federal motor vehicle safety standard has been remedied, except if: the recall information regarding the vehicle was not available at the time of sale or lease nor on the manufacturer's website, or notification of such defect or noncompliance is required, but enforcement of an order to notify of and remedy the defect or noncompliance is set aside in a civil action on a motion for change of venue."

Governments around the world are concerned with the loss of life and serious injuries that are being caused unnecessarily by driver's failure to take action. Lawmakers and automobile manufacturers are doing everything in their power to alert the public to the grave dangers the Takata airbag presents to themselves and to their loved ones. Automakers such as Honda have resorted to sending employees armed with a specialty iPhone app into shopping center parking lots to record the parked vehicle's identification number and to issue a warning. A printed warning is placed on the car or truck's windshield if the vehicle has not complied with the recall. Soon traffic officers may be able to issue a ticket and impose a monetary fine in the same manner.

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Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. The Onder Law Firm has won more than $300 million in four talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis. Law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.