Fifty-six million airbags manufactured by the Japanese company, Takata, were recalled after faulty inflators caused airbags to explode. The recall affects an estimated 41.6 million vehicles made by 19 vehicle manufacturers.
The class action lawyers at Markoff Leinberger are closely following the Takata airbag recall in order to best represent any Chicago-area car owners whose lives have been affected by the faulty airbags. If you suffered injuries as a result of a Takata airbag, you may be entitled to compensation.
Defective Airbag Inflators Cause Serious Harm
Sixteen deaths and an alleged injury count of 250 have resulted due to Takata’s defective airbag inflators. Some of the injuries that victims have sustained include:
Background on the Takata Recall
The Takata recalls began in 2008. Repairs to affected vehicles are scheduled through 2020. The airbag recall is ultimately the largest product recall in the history of the U.S.
- The company began using ammonium nitrate propellant inflators in their airbags in the 1990s.
- Concerning test results that included airbag eruptions and other issues with the inflators were noted by the company around 2000, but these test results were kept from the public.
- In 2004, the first report of an airbag dysfunction in a Honda was reported, followed by other reports in 2007.
- In 2008, Honda recalled 4,000 vehicles due to suspected faulty airbags.
- In 2009, an Oklahoma driver was killed by an airbag that ruptured. Honda then ordered a recall of over 500,000 airbags.
- In 2014, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began a formal inquiry into Takata airbags.
- In 2016, Takata agreed to pay up to $200 million in penalties and to recall millions of inflators.
- Criminal penalties of $1 billion were imposed in 2017, including $125 million for victim compensation, $25 million for a criminal fine, and $850 million for automakers. This same year, Takata filed for bankruptcy.
- Also in 2017, Toyota, Subaru, BMW, and Mazda came to a $553 million settlement with vehicle owners.
- As of 2018, more vehicles have been recalled, most notably 2006 Ford Rangers, for which a “stop-driving” recall was issued by federal regulators after two confirmed deaths related to defective airbags in the vehicle.
- This year, the fourteenth Takata airbag-related death in a Honda was reported, bringing the total number of related deaths to 16.
How to Protect Yourself
The Takata recall should be taken very seriously by consumers. You can check if your vehicle is included in the recall by entering your VIN here. It is important to note that additional recalls will be issued through December 2019, so continue to check if your vehicle appears on the recall list.
Consumers have the option of taking an impacted vehicle to its manufacturer for a free repair. Consumers who have suffered injuries from these airbags may also choose to join a class action lawsuit.
Contact Markoff Leinberger for a Free Consultation
If you live in or near Chicago and have questions about joining a Takata airbag class action lawsuit, please call (888) 517-9115 for a free consultation with one of our experienced consumer rights lawyers.