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The Defective Takata Airbag

Malfunctions of the Takata airbag has prompted the largest ever automobile recall and for many, the recall comes much too late.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - More than 20 different automobile manufacturers have issued a vehicle recall due to the malfunctioning Takata airbag system. This is the largest motor vehicle recall in US history and affects millions of automobile owners. Companies affected by the Takata airbag recall include BMW, Chrysler, General Motors, Ford, and Honda. The recall is for vehicles manufactured with the airbags installed between the years 2002 and 2015. The reason for the recall is that the Takata airbag can explode unexpectedly and send sharp pieces of metal at bullet-like speed throughout the cabin of the vehicle severely injuring and sometimes killing the vehicle's occupants. Airbags are known to be a life-saving device and have saved many millions of lives however the Takata airbags have proven to be even more deadly than the injuries caused by the automobile crashes that the device was designed to prevent.

Airbags deploy at the moment of impact when an ammonium nitrate propellant cartridge discharges. The cause of the airbag malfunction has been linked to the time when Takata replaced its original and effective, yet expensive propellant, Tetrazole, with the more cost-effective (cheaper) ammonium nitrate as early as 2001. There are several reasons why ammonium nitrate cartridges explode due to environmental factors such as excess moisture, humidity, and high temperature. It is the metal shrapnel created from the ammonium nitrate propellant capsules that creates the grenade-like effect when exploded. The explosion is made all the more deadly as the upper torso, neck, face, and heads of the vehicle's occupants are the areas of the body that are impacted. More than 200 automobile occupants unfortunate enough to be in a Takata airbag explosion have suffered facial lacerations, lost teeth, blindness, concussions, whiplash and other serious injuries including over 11 deaths.

The findings of the US Department of Justice and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration were ignored by executives of the Takata corporation who may have known for over a decade prior that their airbags were exploding and causing serious injury and death but did nothing to warn consumers. Other sources that have linked the Takata airbag to serious injuries and death include the outcomes of court cases and investigative media. It is clear that Takata company executives may have put profits before consumer safety and reaped windfall profits for over a decade before finally conceding that their airbags were substandard and defective.

People injured and the estates of those who have been killed as a result of the negligence of the Takata corporation are filing lawsuits to receive reimbursement of their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering as well as punitive damage against the company for failing to act and recall the defective and deadly product sooner. Millions of lives have been needlessly put at risk and hundreds of people have suffered catastrophic, life-altering injuries that a more timely recall could have avoided. Knowing that many more lawsuits will follow, the Takata corporation has set aside billions of dollars to settle the airbag personal injury and wrongful death claims. Takata Airbag lawyers do not consider these type of lawsuits to be class action lawsuits and are ready to give you a free case review.

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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.