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Injuries from Takata Airbags

January 16, 2017 in Articles, Personal Injury Articles | MARTIN WREN, P.C. | LEAVE A COMMENT

Injuries from Takata Airbags

I’ve recently been writing about some of the most common dangerous automobile defects.  This is timely now, when injuries from Takata Airbags are a massive threat.  Takata airbags are used by 19 different car manufacturers, and the current recall of Takata airbags has been called the largest and most extensive vehicle recall effort ever.[i]

This article will help explain the problem with Takata airbags, explain how you can learn if your vehicle has the dangerous Takata airbags, and explain what you can do if you have suffered injuries from Takata air bags.

The Dangers of Takata Airbags

Takata air bags were primarily installed in vehicles with model years 2002 through 2015.  It is estimated that the defective airbags have been installed in tens of millions of vehicles.[ii]  Like all airbags, Takata airbags are designed to deploy and expand to protect drivers and passengers during car crashes.  Unlike most airbags, however, Takata airbags have a unique danger.  Takata airbags that have been exposed to high heat and humidity can develop defects.  In particular, each Takata airbag has an inflator that works with a propellant, and time, temperature fluctuations, and humidity can cause the propellant to degrade over time.[iii]

The defect may cause the propellant to combust too quickly, overexerting the inflator.[iv]  In some cases, the forces on the inflator are so great that the inflator ruptures, breaks into fragments, and the metal fragments shoot through the car’s passenger compartment like shrapnel when the air bag inflates.

The dangers caused by these airbags can be severe.  Some of the personal injuries caused by the airbags have been described as stab wounds or even gun shots.[v]  To date, 11 individuals have already been killed by these defective airbags, and hundreds of others have suffered injuries caused by the shrapnel.

How to Check if Your Car Has Takata Airbags

If you purchased a vehicle with model years 2002 through 2015, you should definitely check to see if your car has Takata airbags.  To check, get the vehicle identification number for your car and enter into the NHTSA’s database at https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/.  That free website will give you important information about your car, including whether you have dangerous Takata airbags.

According to the NHTSA, Takata airbags were installed by the following vehicle manufacturers: Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks North America (Sterling Bullet), Daimler Vans USA LLC (Sprinter), Dodge/Ram, Ferrari, Fisker, Ford, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Mercury, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Scion, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen (VW).

What to do if you are Injured by a Takata Airbag

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to a Takata airbag, your foremost concern needs to be to get the medical attention you need.  Once you have done what is needed to get medical attention, you should contact an experienced product liability attorney to see what steps you need to take to protect your rights.  For help in this regard, please contact Robert E. Byrne, Jr., one of MartinWren, P.C.’s product liability attorneys, at (434) 817-3100, or by email at byrne@martinwrenlaw.com.

 

[i] http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2016/05/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-takata-air-bag-recall/index.htm

 

[ii] http://icsw.nhtsa.gov/safercar/rs/takata/

 

[iii] http://icsw.nhtsa.gov/safercar/rs/takata/takata-explainer.html

 

[iv] http://icsw.nhtsa.gov/safercar/rs/takata/takata-explainer.html

 

[v] http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/20/autos/takata-airbag-victims/

 

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