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Sixth Person Killed as a Result of Defective Airbags

By: Joseph Smith

In January of this year, a sixth person was killed by a defective Takata airbag. The victim, a father of two, was driving a 2002 Honda Accord, when he was involved in a low-impact crash. When the air bag deployed, pieces of the air bag inflator were ejected and stuck him in the neck, severing his jugular and killing him before emergency personnel arrived. The family has brought a wrongful death suit on behalf of the victim's two children against Honda and Takata for strict liability, negligence, and gross negligence. They also filed suit against the used car dealer that the victim had purchased the car from in April 2014 for failing to repair the vehicle when there were open recalls already on the vehicle for the airbags. The victim never received any notice of the recall on the vehicle. Honda had sent the previous owner recall notice letters in 2011, but the car was never brought in for repairs.

Defective Airbags

This tragedy increases the focus on Takata and its failure to comply with NHTSA investigators who issued a nationwide recall of the driver's-side air bags, as well as the severely flawed recall process. Under existing law, automakers are required to report potential safety issues and defects to the government but are not required to send notices by certified return receipt or call customers to notify them about the recalls, resulting in many consumers being unaware. Another problem is that Takata can only manufacture 450,000 replacement air bags each month, far short of the recalled amount. This leaves consumers in the position of receiving a recall notice but no repairs available until months later.

Despite these recalls and the clear danger of the defective air bags, Takata has still not been able to determine the root cause of the exploding air bag defect. As a result, consumer watchdogs and attorneys are worries that Takata may be manufacturing the replacement parts with the same or similar parts as the defective airbags – resulting in this same situation occurring 5 or 10 years in the future.

At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our Washington, DC injury lawyers have helped many victims harmed during preventable auto accidents, including accidents involving defective auto parts. If you would like more information about Takata airbag defects, or have been injured as a result of this defect, contact our legal team today for a free case evaluation