The Department of Transportation has taken a big step forward in resolving the defective Takata airbag crisis. The department has recalled an additional 35 to 40 million vehicles installed with the defective airbags.
More than 68 million vehicles have now been recalled as a result of the defective and dangerous Takata airbag inflators. It is the largest safety recall in U.S. history.
The acceleration of this recall is based on scientific evidence on the safety of these airbags, according to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Takata has been required to make a series of safety defect decisions that will support the recall of approximately 35 to 40 million vehicles through December 2019. Unfortunately, this means that all the necessary repairs will not be completed until three years from now, leaving millions of drivers at risk.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), owners can ask their local dealership for loaner cars, however, dealers are not required to make one available and the NHTSA cannot require auto dealers to provide loaners.
Takata airbags have been linked to at least 10 deaths. Another victim succumbed to injuries she suffered when her Takata airbag violently ruptured during an accident. About 100 people have also been injured by these defective airbags.
Regulators have been investigating exactly what is causing the airbags to rupture so violently and finally found an answer. Exposure to environmental moisture and temperature variations in the long-term can damage the propellant used to deploy the airbag. Once the propellant becomes unstable, it is more likely to unexpectedly explode.
The latest recall announcements will be rolled out in five phases based on risk, age of the inflator and exposure of the propellant to high humidity and temperatures.
The personal injury lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy urge all vehicle owners to visit www.safercar.gov to check if their vehicle has been recalled. For those who have suffered an injury by a Takata airbag, contact our law firm for a free legal consultation. We can help you fight for justice.