In the summer of June, 2014, a Lafayette woman died when her 2005 Honda Civic’s airbag malfunctioned. It was the seventh death related to defective Takata airbags, and it would not be the last.
Most recently, a Texas woman became the 10th death in the US associated with the defective airbags. She was driving a 2002 Honda Civic when she crashed and her airbag activated. Like the other victims, she was killed by the explosive impact of the airbag during a car accident.
Takata is currently embroiled in a global scandal for releasing faulty airbag inflators responsible for 11 deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide. According to federal investigators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a faulty inflator causes the airbag to explode with excessive force during collisions, which can send shrapnel flying throughout the vehicle.
When people purchase vehicles, safety is often a top priority. However, manufacturers can be negligent and hide evidence of defective auto parts. Americans recently experienced this exact situation when it became evident GM had known its ignition switches were defective and failed to notify federal regulators. Takata’s defective airbags and GM’s faulty ignition switches are important reminders that it is essential to stay knowledgeable of recalls.
Scared of Defective Auto Parts? Here is How You Can Check for Recalls
As of May, 2016, more than 60 million vehicles have been recalled (or are about to be recalled) for defective Takata airbags. Fortunately, NHTSA operates a website (www.safercar.gov) that allows consumers to stay informed on important Takata recall information. Although we are using Takata’s airbags as an example for this blog, NHTSA’s website can be used to stay informed on other defective auto parts.
In some cases, people killed by defective auto parts were unaware recalls had been issued. NHTSA’s app (for Android or iPhones) can also help alert people to recalls so they can take action and fix defective auto parts.
The Lafayette personal injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat have two decades of experience holding negligent companies accountable.