Takata Airbag Recall (2023 Update)

Friday, February 17, 2023

Takata Airbag Recall (2023 Update)

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Takata Airbag Recall 2023Stellantis, a multinational automotive manufacturing business, has recalled over 100 million Takata airbag inflators across the globe, including over 67 million in the U.S., over the past decade.

Approximately 30 people have died (24 in the United States), and hundreds have been injured in vehicles manufactured by multiple automakers since 2009 – all due to faulty Takata airbag inflators.

The now-defunct airbag manufacturer, Takata, did admit that the fuel in the airbag might degrade after prolonged exposure to high temperatures and humidity. It further added that the defect could lead to an explosion and the release of potentially lethal metal fragments – fragments that could cause death or serious injuries.

Although the recall seems to have been winding down recently, another development arose at the first of this year. Volkswagen filed paperwork in January 2023, reporting that its VW Beetle autos have had driver-side airbag problems. Now Volkswagen adds its name to what has been the largest safety recall in NHTSA history. It seems that the recalls are never-ending.

The problems that led to issues with the Takata airbags involve the type of fuelant that was used and where the airbags were made. While most airbag makers used sodium azide in the later 1990s and early 2000s, Takata chose a cheaper propellant, ammonium nitrate. While this should have not been a drawback, the company also produced the airbags in environments that were filthy, damp, and hot.

That’s because the company’s factories in Mexico were contaminated with dust, dirt, and detritus. When moisture started seeping through the poorly sealed airbags, the ammonium nitrate began to deteriorate. This deterioration increased the risk of a fuelant explosion, which ultimately led to the massive recall initiated by the NHTSA.

You May Have a Product Liability Claim

If you have been injured by a failed Takata airbag or any defective airbag product, you may also have a product liability claim. If so, you need to contact a product liability lawyer to learn more about your rights for compensation.

A product liability attorney can examine your claim so you can receive a fair and equitable settlement. Several class action lawsuits have already been settled with car-makers that sold the defective Takata airbags.

Also, if you’ve received a complete recall for your car and the manufacturer does not cover the refund in full, you can sue the automaker for the difference. Therefore, you can file a lawsuit for the amount you’re due for a recall or for an accident or wrongful death claim.

If an airbag is defective and you’re found negligent in an accident, you still can receive money. That’s why you need to consult with a product liability lawyer right away. Remember you only have two years to file a claim if you were injured in Illinois.

Takata Airbag Product Recalls and Incidents

  • The major automaker, Stellantis, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acknowledged that Takata airbag inflators in a 2010 Chrysler 300 were responsible for one of the airbag fatalities.
  • In another incident, a driver was ejected from their car and killed after their driver-side airbag was deployed without warning.
  • One Takata airbag incident in a 2006 Ford Ranger led to the death of the driver.
  • A driver in a 2002 Honda Accord got killed after a faulty airbag deployment in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
  • This mishap was number 17 among Honda incidents involving a defective inflator.

Recall Notices

In the meantime, Stellantis has been frantically asking owners of older cars to get their cars repaired. In fact, they have made 114 attempts along these lines and have also reached out to consumers about 210 million times via courier service, postal mail, email, text, phone calls, and home visits in the past 10 years.

“Do Not Drive” Notifications

However, even with these fervent measures taking place, only 6.1 million airbags have been replaced.

During the above-mentioned communications, the company has named certain 2005 to 2010 cars as dangerous, and therefore have issued a “Do Not Drive” notification for:

  • Dodge Charger Muscle vehicles
  • The Chrysler 300 sedan
  • The Dodge Challenger
  • The Dodge Magnum wagon

Along with the “Do Not Drive” warning, the company also encouraged owners to make immediate repairs.

Staying On Top of Auto Recalls: What You Can Do

Keep on top of possible recall notices for your auto by going online and visiting the NHTSA website. You can take one of several measures while visiting the platform.

Enter Your Auto’s VIN on the NHTSA Website

To see if your car has a flawed Takata airbag, enter your car’s VIN on the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) website.

The NHTSA advises that consumers use the VIN lookup tool twice yearly to make sure their vehicle is not under recall.

Check Recall Information on the NHTSA Website

If your vehicle is affected by a current recall, the manufacturer will send you a letter in the mail. Check recall information updates by looking them up if you haven’t received a notice but are concerned that your vehicle may be affected.

Review Current NHTSA Alerts

Also, visit NHTSA.gov/alerts and enter your email address to receive recall notices in the future. Please refer to Annex A for a complete list of affected vehicles and the Priority Group to which they belong in terms of access to the necessary parts.

Again, it is important to check for recalls twice yearly. Vehicles that are not yet recalled but are scheduled for future recall will not be shown until an announcement is made. This follows the Consent Order that the NHTSA issued to Takata.

What You Should Do If You Learn Your Auto is Recalled

  1. If you find your vehicle is being recalled, don’t delay in getting the problem fixed, as the car is not safe to drive. Contact your dealer immediately to get the car repaired for free.
  2. If a dealer does not repair your car as described in your recall correspondence, you should contact the manufacturer.
  3. You may also file a complaint with the NHTSA. Make sure you’re as detailed as possible – report the name of the dealership and the employee(s) involved.
  4. If you’re waiting to have your airbag repaired, do not have the current airbag disabled. In most cases, the airbag is more likely to help than cause you harm in a possible crash.
  5. If you own a Ford 2006 Ranger or Mazda B-Series pickup, both car companies are advising some owners to contact their dealer immediately and to stop driving their autos. Both of the vehicle manufacturers are offering towing and a loaner car to anyone affected. Some car manufacturers are advising owners to ask that their passengers sit in the back seat until the airbag repair is made.
  6. If you do not feel comfortable about driving your car while waiting for a repair, ask the dealer to provide a loaner vehicle. While a dealer is not required to provide a loaner, it never hurts to make the request.
  7. Some of the brands that urgently need repair or airbag replacements include 2001 to 2003 Honda and Acura vehicles. Tests done on these vehicles as well as other listed cars, show an increased likelihood of airbag failure.

Once more, the best thing to do is to contact an airbag recall attorney to ensure that you receive the proper legal help and compensation with respect to a recall. Things can get complicated when making repairs and updates.

For example, newer versions of the same Takata airbags are being installed by a select few automakers. You should still have this repair done if it is offered, even though these “interim” or “like for like” replacements will eventually need replacement.

In addition to the free interim replacement airbag, all affected owners will be offered a free final repair. For safety reasons, repairs are prioritized, even if temporary.

The NHTSA has prioritized fixing Takata airbags in vehicles whose airbags pose the greatest risk to public safety. The agency is also working to ensure that parts are readily available to fix all affected vehicles as soon as possible.

Field experience, research, and tests show that older airbags that have had prolonged exposure to humidity and high temperatures pose a bigger risk of exploding unexpectedly.

That is why the NHTSA has ordered automakers to have the airbags in older model cars repaired first, as they have had longer terms of exposure to hot temperatures and damp environmental conditions.

Contact a Product Liability Lawyer Now

Do you have questions about the Takata airbag recall? Maybe you need to know about a car accident injury claim. If so, you can find out what you’re seeking by contacting a Takata recall airbag lawyer today. In Chicago, contact Malman Law right away.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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