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Takata Airbag Disposal Presents Enoumous Challenge

New EPA standard aim to alleviate burdensome regulations repair shops face in disposing of Takata airbags all the while maintaining compliance with the agency's hazardous waste disposal rules

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - Now that tens of millions of Takata airbags have been ripped from motor vehicles in the US and around the world, the new question being asked is what to do with them. The US Environmental Protection Agency has addressed this issue with concern not only for the airbag's proper disposal but also to ensure that the devices will not be resold to unsuspecting customers. The EPA wants to loosen the standards that are in place for the disposal of hazardous waste in order to make it easier for dealerships and others replacing the airbags to improve the rate at which repairs can be made. Tens of millions of vehicles have currently gone unrepaired and drivers and their passengers continue to be at risk because repair shops just cannot physically keep up with demand, amongst other reasons.

The EPA will be amending current regulations in order to reduce the regulatory burden on airbag replacement businesses. The EPA acknowledges that forcing dealerships to comply with the red tape involved with the environmentally safe disposal of the airbags would slow the recovery effort to a crawl when in fact the objective of the Takata recall is to get it done as quickly as possible.

According to, at the core of the new legislation will be the objective of stopping repair shops from simply throwing the airbags away and instead send them to a centralized facility that will comply with the regulatory burdens of the hazardous-waste portion of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

The exploding Takata airbag is the subject of the largest motor vehicle recall in US history affecting almost every car manufactured from 2001 to 2015. Changing the chemical compound that ignites the explosion that deploys the airbag causes the propellant's metal canister to shatter and propel metal shards into the face, head, neck and upper torso of the vehicle's driver and passengers. Twenty Five people from around the world have been known to have died and hundreds more injured. Those numbers could be much higher as it is usually difficult for first responders to relate the severe injuries suffered by the vehicle's occupants with the sometimes fender-bender only collisions. Police report Takata airbag deaths as homicides by someone looking to kill the vehicle's driver.

Only about 1/2 of all affected motor vehicles have actually complied with the order to bring their vehicle in for repair. Auto dealerships promise to not only do the airbag swap free of charge but also to provide customers with a free rental car for as long as it takes to make the repairs. If you have not complied with the recall you should visit the NHTSA website and enter your vehicle's identification number. If your vehicle is under recall park it and do not attempt to drive it. Instead, call your dealership who will come to you to make the replacement.

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OnderLaw, 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. The Onder Law Firm 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 won $197 million in three talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis in 2016 and other law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.