By: Allan M. Siegel
"How many people would need to die before you do a national recall?" That is the question Congressman Billy Long (R-Mo.) and countless others are demanding Takata Corp., answer after it refused to comply with U.S. regulators deadline to institute a national recall of the defective airbags. After it came to light that the airbags manufactured by Takata could explode violently hurtling metal shrapnel at drivers and passengers, resulting in the deaths of at least 5 people, lawmakers and regulators began to push for a nationwide recall of the airbags. Some of the auto manufacturers that used the defective airbags, including Honda, have already issued nationwide recalls. Honda has already recalled over 6 million vehicles as a result of the potentially deadly defect.
Yet Takata has failed to expand the scope of the recall beyond the original limited area of states with very high humidity such as Florida. This leaves residents of other states at risk of being injured or killed as a result of the airbags not being recalled in their state. Takata's failure to expand the recall nationwide was the focus of the recent congressional hearings on the defective airbags. Another Congresswoman pressed Takata's representative to find out if he was around when the company made the decision to use a cheaper, but highly reactive, chemical in the airbags that is believed to be a likely cause of the airbag ruptures. Federal regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also presented evidence showing the deadly failures could repeat in other high-humidity states, like Texas, if a mandatory national recall is not issued for the defective airbags. The NHTSA is already working to build civil and criminal cases against Takata that could result in over $800 million in fines.
Rather than doing the right thing, and issue a nationwide recall, Takata turns a blind eye to the fact its product has killed innocent people and could injure many more. Takata's reckless actions and seeming disregard for the danger posed to countless drivers, demonstrate why it is so important to hold manufacturers responsible for their dangerous and defective products. The attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, and Siegel, P.C. have spent decades fighting to hold companies accountable for the defective and potentially deadly products that they release to the public. Our personal injury attorneys handle product liability and product defect cases of all kinds.
If you believe that you or someone you love may been hurt by a defective vehicle, defective product, or someone's negligent conduct, please call the attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, and Siegel, P.C.