Our readers might recall that in July 2014, we blogged about the safety issues associated with the Takata Company and its airbags. They were not only deploying… they were exploding.
The problem appears to be the airbag inflator, the device that makes the airbag deploy when your car is involved in a crash. This airbag inflator can explode, sending sharp pieces of plastic and metal flying, causing severe injuries and even death to drivers and passengers who have been in a crash.
Initially, Takata reported that the propellant chemicals had been mishandled or improperly stored, causing them to become unstable. Later, Takata claimed that humid weather conditions in parts of the United States were a cause of the exploding airbags. However, new sources are reporting bad workmanship may be the cause of the defect.
According to Reuters, Takata now admits that rust, poor welds, and even bubble gum dropped into at least one deflator may have also been a cause of the explosions. One Takata plant in New Mexico allowed defective inflators to be released at a rate six to eight times above the acceptable limits.
According to the most recent reports, there are now approximately 17 million vehicles potentially affected by this recall. That number has now skyrocketed to over 20 different makes and models of cars currently in America.
Another issue is how long Takata knew about the defective airbag inflators. The New York Times has alleged that Takata knew about the potential for exploding airbags as early as 2004, when it conducted secret tests trying to confirm and solve the problem. Takata strongly denies these allegations.
The list of current cars affected by the recall is as follows:
AFFECTED VEHICLES (total number, if known, in parentheses):
- Acura: 2002–2003 TL; 2002 CL; 2003–2006 MDX; 2005 Acura RL
- BMW (approximately 765,000): 2000–2005 3-series sedan and wagon; 2000–2006 3-series coupe and convertible; 2001–2006 M3 coupe and convertible
- Chrysler (approximately 2.88 million, including Dodge): 2004–2008 Chrysler 300; 2007–2008 Aspen
- Dodge/Ram (approximately 2.88 million, including Chrysler): 2003–2008 Dodge Ram 1500; 2004–2008 Ram 2500, Dakota, and Durango; 2004–2007 Charger; 2004–2008 Ram 3500 and 4500; 2008 Ram 5500
- Ford (538,977): 2004–2005 Ranger; 2005–2006 GT; 2005–2008 Mustang
- Honda (approximately 5.5 million, including Acura): 2001–2007 Accord (four-cylinder); 2001–2002 Accord (V-6); 2001–2005 Civic; 2002–2006 CR-V; 2002–2004 Odyssey; 2003–2011 Element; 2003–2008 Pilot; 2006 Ridgeline
- Infiniti: 2001–2004 Infiniti I30/I35; 2002–2003 Infiniti QX4; 2003–2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45; 2006 Infiniti M35/M45
- Lexus: 2002–2005 SC430
- Mazda (330,000, est): 2004–2008 Mazda 6; 2006–2007 Mazdaspeed 6; 2004–2008 Mazda RX-8; 2004–2005 MPV; 2004 B-series
- Mitsubishi (11,985): 2004–2005 Lancer; 2006–2007 Raider
- Nissan (approximately 765,000, including Infiniti): 2001–2003 Maxima; 2001–2004 Pathfinder; 2002–2006 Nissan Sentra
- Pontiac: 2003–2005 Vibe
- Saab: 2005 9-2X
- Subaru (17,516): 2003–2005 Baja, Legacy, Outback; 2004–2005 Impreza, Impreza WRX, Impreza WRX STI
- Toyota (877,000, including Lexus and Pontiac Vibe): 2002–2005 Toyota Corolla and Sequoia; 2003–2005 Matrix, Tundra
If you, or someone you know or love, have been seriously injured by an exploding airbag or other unsafe or defective product, call the personal injury attorneys at Roberts and Roberts. For nearly 30 years, the lawyers at Roberts and Roberts have fought protect consumers and to hold manufacturers accountable for their actions. The call costs you nothing… it could mean everything.
Justin is an attorney at Roberts & Roberts and focuses his practice on mass tort litigation, where he specializes in helping individuals who are harmed by recalled or unsafe pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. He has earned recognition as a “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers. Prior to joining Roberts & Roberts, Justin served as an attorney in all three branches of Texas’s state government, including as a Briefing Attorney on the Texas Supreme Court. He also represented electric and natural gas utilities in complex regulatory proceedings before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Railroad Commission of Texas. Justin is a published author in the St. Mary’s Law Journal.