The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued an urgent recall of millions of vehicles manufactured by Honda, Toyota, GM, Nissan, Mazda, and BMW for problems with exploding air bags in automobiles. This recall comes after years of issues with air bags manufactured by a company known as Takata. The NHTSA encourages consumers who own the recalled vehicles to have the air bags repaired immediately to avoid serious injury or even death from these defective air bags.
The recalled air bags are potentially extremely dangerous, as an explosive chemical inside of the air bags have been causing some air bags to explode rather than properly deploy, even in minor automobile accidents. Upon explosion, metal shrapnel from the component inside the air bag can fly into drivers and passengers, seriously injuring or even killing them.
Honda has one of the largest number of recalled vehicles, to date, although the number of recalled vehicles worldwide amongst all car manufacturers exceeds 14 million! Investigations have shown that Honda and Takata have known about the air bag defects for years; in 2004, a Honda Accord had an exploding air bag that injured its driver. Since then, at least three people have died from ruptured air bags in Honda Civics and Honda Accords.
In fact, in 2010, a Georgia woman was severely injured by a piece of flying shrapnel from an airbag in a Honda Civic that severed an artery in her neck. In that case, the woman was stopped at a red light when the driver and passenger air bags deployed, and there was not even a wreck. Honda quietly settled this lawsuit and several other lawsuits for confidential amounts.
It appears that despite numerous red flags about the dangerous nature of the air bags, Honda did not issue a recall until 2008, and when it did issue the recall, it was only for a very small fraction of its fleet of vehicles. In reality, millions of vehicles contain the potentially dangerous air bags.
When asked about what caused the air bags to explode, Takata’s engineers have given numerous reasons, including a machine defect at a production plant and water damage to the explosive component that caused the chemicals contained in the air bag to be overactive. But, Takata has yet to fully explain why the air bags explode.
Further, it is now coming to light that the defective Takata air bags have been installed in millions of vehicles manufactured by several different car manufacturers, expanding the danger to millions of consumers worldwide.
Car manufacturers have been held liable for placing unsafe vehicles on the road, as shown by the numerous roll over, roof collapse, seat belt, acceleration, ignition, and other defective products litigation. Products liability law in Georgia also allows consumers who are injured by the defective air bags to sue manufacturers for placing those products into the stream of commerce.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an exploding air bag, contact a products liability lawyer immediately to evaluate your case. We at The Davis Injury Firm will walk you through the process and ensure that you obtain quality legal representation for your products liability case. Please call us at 404-593-2620 to speak to an attorney today.
If you own any of the recalled vehicles listed by the NHTSA, you should bring your car in for service and repair immediately to avoid a very dangerous product. See below for the NHTSA list of recalled vehicles; even if you do not see your car, you should also check with the manufacturer of your car directly to ensure that there are no recalls and continue to monitor the recalls in the future. The NHTSA allows you to sign up for recall alerts. Here is the list:
Affected Vehicles, by Manufacturer, Impacted by CY 2013 and 2014 Recalls Involving Takata Airbags
Toyota: 778,177 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2002 – 2004 Lexus SC
2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla
2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla Matrix
2002 – 2004 Toyota Sequoia
2003 – 2004 Toyota Tundra
2003 – 2004 Pontiac Vibe
Honda: 2,803,214 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2007 Honda Accord (4 cyl)
2001 – 2002 Honda Accord (6 cyl)
2001 – 2005 Honda Civic
2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V
2003 – 2011 Honda Element
2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey
2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot
2006 – Honda Ridgeline
2003 – 2006 Acura MDX
2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL
Nissan: 437,712 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima
2001 – 2003 Nissan Pathfinder
2002 – 2003 Nissan Sentra
2001 – 2003 Infiniti I30/I35
2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4
2003 – Infiniti FX
Mazda: 18,050 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2004 Mazda6
2004 – Mazda RX-8
BMW: 573,935 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan
2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon
2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible
2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe
2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible
General Motors: 133,221 total number potentially affected vehicles
2002 – 2003 Buick LeSabre
2002 – 2003 Buick Rendezvous
2002 – 2003 Cadillac DeVille
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Impala
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Venture
2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy
2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy XL
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Silhouette
2002 – 2003 Pontiac Bonneville
2002 – 2003 Pontiac Montana
About the Author Betty Nguyen Davis is an Atlanta attorney who solely focuses her practice on plaintiff’s personal injury work. Betty is consistently recognized by her peers as a top attorney in Georgia by Super Lawyers and Georgia Trend and is highly recommended by her clients as a aggressive and persistent, yet caring and accessible attorney.