NHTSA Review Launched Over Risk of Exploding Airbags in Millions of Vehicles
Faulty airbag inflators in various makes and models of vehicles may put drivers and passengers at risk of serious injury caused by exploding shrapnel.
Government safety officials have announced an investigation into potentially dangerous airbag inflators used in millions of vehicles throughout the United States, which may fire shrapnel at drivers and passengers when they deploy. The airbag probe was launched by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on June 11, following at least six consumer complaints indicating that airbags in various makes and models of vehicles may rupture and cause serious injuries for vehicle occupants.
Multiple Takata Airbag Recalls
The exploding airbag problem was initially discovered by the NHTSA following a number of recalls issued by car manufacturers involving problems with airbags made by Takata Corporation. Over the past five years, more than seven million vehicles have been affected by various Takata airbag recalls, and highway safety officials are now looking at vehicles manufactured by Nissan, Honda, Chrysler, Mazda and Toyota that may contain defective airbags.
In 2011, Honda recalled 273,000 vehicles due to faulty airbag problems, in an expansion of a 2009 recall for the same issue, which had already been expanded once before in 2010. Another Takata airbag recall issued in April 2013 affected 3.3 million Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Honda and BMW vehicles, and the recall was announced following reports of Takata airbags exploding and firing scrap metal towards passengers.
More Faulty Airbag Recalls Expected
Just last week, Toyota Motor Company recalled more than 766,000 vehicles due to potentially defective Takata airbag inflators that were previously recalled because of a risk of malfunctions. As part of the same recall, the car maker recalled another 650,000 vehicles in Japan that featured potentially dangerous Takata airbag inflators. Honda Motors also announced last week that it is expecting to announce a recall of more than one million vehicles by the end of this month, due to the risk of Takata-made airbag inflators firing shrapnel towards passengers.
A Skilled Auto Defect Lawyer Can Help
Details of the NHTSA investigation have not been released, but a spokesperson for Honda announced recently that the company is conducting an internal investigation to determine whether more vehicles should be included in the latest Takata airbag recall. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries caused by a faulty auto part, such as a potentially defective airbag inflator, our consumer advocates at the Leading Justice can help. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by dangerous products, and can help put you in touch with a reputable product liability lawyer today.