Takata Corp., the company that manufactured millions of defective airbags, has secretly settled at least five airbag lawsuits. The settlements are confidential, which means important information that other victims could use to pursue injury claims has been sealed off.
Five of a dozen lawsuits reviewed by Bloomberg news were settled before any relevant information was revealed in courts. One case is currently in review for a possible settlement, another is in mediation and another has been dropped.
Settling these claims out of court keeps damaging information out of the hands of outsiders as court documents are of public record.
Details surrounding these defective airbags is confusing enough as some want to point the finger at Honda for failing to recall vehicles swiftly enough and others want to blame the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing to investigate Takata in 2009; the NHTSA launched an investigation then, but closed it six months later.
Bloomberg notes that at least two of the Takata settlements in 2009 were linked to the defective airbags. Another, in 2011, involved a victim whose carotid artery was cut when her airbag unexpectedly exploded. One lawsuit that Takata Corp. is currently trying to get settled involves a victim who suffered eye injuries after a metal fragment lodged into her right eye when the airbag deployed.
Takata Corp. and Honda Motor Co. were recently named in a lawsuit by the family of Hien Tran who died in an Oct. 2014 auto accident. Tran suffered cuts to the neck, face and torso after a low-speed accident. Police likened her wounds to that of a homicide victim.
The Takata airbag recall lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can help you if you or someone you love was injured by a defective Takata airbag.