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Takata Airbags Auto Recall Update May 2018

Millions of people continue to drive automobiles with Takata airbags and risk injury and death

Sunday, May 6, 2018 - Takata airbags from the leading US and international automobile manufacturers have been recalled by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The recall affects vehicles manufactured between the years 2002 and 2015. The reason for the recall is due to the unacceptably high number of Takata airbag's deploying due to environmental factors rather than from crash impact and causing severe injuries and deaths to the occupants in the automobile. The recall affects more than 30 million motor vehicles in the United States. Today roughly half of those vehicles subject to the recall have their airbags replaced.

The Takata airbag once thought of as a life-saving automobile safety breakthrough is now considered dangerous and potentially deadly. Airbags are intended to deploy instantly when a severe impact takes place such as a head-on or t-bone collision. A Takata airbag has been known to deploy from the slightest impact such as a vehicle tapping the bumper of another in a parking lot. The reason for the near-spontaneous airbag deployment is the propellant used in the inflator canister, ammonium nitrate, breaks down due to environmental changes such as temperature change or high humidity causing it to become more easily combustible. The explosion is also more powerful and sends razor-sharp metal shards from the canister throughout the auto's cabin with grenade-like force. It has been estimated that it the speed of the metal shot through the cabin is 1/20 of a second, as fast as a bullet causing facial injuries to the occupants of the vehicle so severe that it leaves them unrecognizable. Police respondents usually think that a homicide has been committed.

The chemical used to ignite and deploy the Takata airbags has been front and center in the minds of Takata executive since the early 1990s. The original chemical used in Takata airbags was sodium azide, however, the company was forced to switch to the safer, more stable, tetrazole due to the sodium azide producing toxic fumes and chemical burns to passengers when the airbag deployed.

As a result of the negligence and deliberate deception on the part of Takata Executive those injured and the loved ones of those killed by a Takata airbag have hired a Takata airbag personal injury lawyer and sued the company for their suffering and wrongful death. Plaintiffs allege the company knew many years ago that their decision to replace the airbag ignition chemical tetrazole with the cheaper and more unstable ammonium nitrate could cause injury and death but the executive chose to do nothing. The three top Takata executive in question were indicted by a grand jury and forced to resign from the company which recently declared bankruptcy. Before that, the company was forced by the US Department of Justice to pay a fine of $1 billion dollars, 87% of which will go to automobile manufacturers to help defray their costs of continuing their efforts to replace the tens of millions of defective airbags still out there and keep injuries and loss of life to a minimum. Takata has been the subject of federal investigations, lawsuits and regulatory action and well over $1 billion in fines.

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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.