Airbag Accident Lawyer Phoenix, AZ
Airbags offer potentially life-saving protection in the event of car accidents and injuries. They provide a cushion to keep you in place while preventing you from slamming against windshields, dashboards, or other hard surfaces. Unfortunately, one of the major automotive airbag manufacturers has been embroiled in controversy while being the subject of auto recalls in Arizona and across the country for the last several years. As an airbag accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ clients recommend can explain, rather than saving lives, the company is accused of producing defective airbags that can end up leaving drivers and their passengers with serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. New developments in the case and additional recalls impacting major automobile manufacturers continue to keep the Takata airbag scandal in the news.
At the heart of the Takata scandal is that the company used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate airbags. However, the chemical can deteriorate over time when it is exposed to high heat and humidity, causing it to burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister inside the bag and spraying shrapnel all over the interior of the vehicle. At least 25 victims have been killed, with hundreds more injured. It is estimated that there are 100 million inflators across the world that are defective.
Airbag Recalls Continue Year After Year
In January 2020, Takata issues a recall for 10 million more front airbag inflators sold to 14 different automakers because they can explode with too much force and hurl shrapnel. This recall is the last one the Takata – now bankrupt – agreed to in a settlement reached with the U.S. safety regulators in 2015. The 10 million inflators are part of the approximately 70 million in the U.S. that Takata was to recall as part of their agreement with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The problem with the airbags was first discovered in 2015, yet automobile manufacturers have been slow to add themselves to the list or to make provisions to replace the nearly 50 million airbags that are estimated to be defective.
In March 2018, a Senate hearing uncovered the fact that of the 17 auto manufacturers subject to the recall, only six had made provisions for customers to receive loaner cars while they waited on replacement airbags, associated parts, and installation to finally be finished. With so many vehicles subject to the recall, Takata is finding it impossible to keep up with the demand for replacements. After admitting they knew the airbags were defective when they were shipped to manufacturers, the company faces criminal fines and consumer lawsuits estimated to be worth billions of dollars. If you have been a victim of a defective airbag, a car accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ victims trust from our firm can help.
Automakers Sued Over Airbag Defects
Takata filed for bankruptcy in June 2016, but is still required to maintain a trust fund for victims, along with providing the replacement parts. Automakers, many of whom have since been implicated as knowing that the airbags were defective, have pledged to give up their own claims against Takata and to contribute roughly $100 million or more to the victim fund.
Allegations continue to emerge about what automakers knew regarding the defects, they are increasingly the target of lawsuits from consumers who have been injured. In addition to not properly inflating in the event of a car crash, Takata airbags have been known to inflate prematurely, while the occupant of the vehicle is simply driving along the road. Drivers face potentially serious puncture wounds and lacerations to the head, throat, and chest, along with an increased risk of being involved in a collision as a result.
Have You Been Injured Due to Automobile Defects?
When auto manufacturers fail to disclose dangerous conditions or defects that could endanger consumers, they can be held liable for any damages that occur as a result. Contact Kamper & Estrada, PLLC and request a consultation with a dedicated Phoenix, AZ airbag accident lawyer to discuss your rights to compensation.