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Takata Employee Whistle Blower Triggers Vehicle Recall

At the center of the Takata airbag scandal that has claimed 22 lives to date and caused serious injuries to hundreds of motorists, is an employee by the name of Mark Lillie who is credited with "blowing the whistle" on Takata company executives

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - According to the Japan Times, Mr. Lillie, a manager with Takata Inc., provided the US Department of Justice, the FBI, and the media with emails, designs, and witnesses to the fact that high-level Takata executives were aware as early as 1999 that changes to the propellant cartridge's explosive chemical from the stable Tetrazole, to the unstable ammonium nitrate could cause the canister to explode and injure the occupants of the vehicle. Lillie struggled with his decision to come forward for some time out of fear of reprisal from the company until he and his wife starting hearing reports of injuries and deaths from the malfunctioning Takata airbags. Lillie is quoted as saying that "when he and his with started hearing about the casualties coming in his sense of ethical duty kicked in and motivated him to risk his career and maybe his life and come forward."

As a result of Mr. Lillie's whistleblowing activities, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration launched the largest ever recall of automobiles in US history, affecting over 40 million motor vehicles. The Takata corporation has been forced to pay over $1 billion in fines to aid automakers in their recall efforts. The company filed for bankruptcy and has been acquired by a Chinese auto safety product company. Three Takata executives were indicted for altering company test data that demonstrated their knowledge of the airbag explosion risk.

About the Takata Airbag Recall

The Takata airbag recall, affecting one in every five motor vehicles worldwide, is currently only half completed. There are still over ten million cars and trucks on the road today driving around with the defective Takata airbag and the lives of the driver and vehicle's occupants are in danger. The faulty airbag propellant canister explodes without warning due to changes in the environment putting the lives of people in warmer weather states like Florida in the most danger. Takata airbag victims look like they have taken a blast to the face from a shotgun and victims have bled to death from a severed carotid artery. Injuries include blindness, concussions, and broken teeth and facial bones along with multiple facial lacerations. First responders at the scene of a Takata airbag accident take one look at the victim and, seeing no visible signs of a traffic accident assume a homicide has been committed. It is the mistaken cause of death that leads some to believe that the actual number of deaths from Takata airbag accident could be many times higher than the 22 deaths reported.

Automobile dealers urge owners of the defective vehicles to immediately stop driving and park their vehicle. Mobile airbag replacement teams will come to you to replace the defective airbags free of charge and will also provide you with a loaner vehicle if they cannot immediately replace the airbag. Visit the NHTSA website and enter your Vehicle Identification Number to see if your car or truck is at risk.

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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.