Updates On The Takata Airbag Recall, and What it Means for PG County Residents
As the car accident lawyers PG County residents trust, we at Cohen & Cohen, PC are committed to keeping you informed about changes and threats to road safety. We were especially troubled, therefore, to hear of the latest developments in the Takata airbag recall. In November 2014, we first learned from a New York Times report that Takata, an automotive parts supply company in Japan, was aware of defects in their airbags as early as 2004, well before their filing reports with federal safety regulators in 2008. Since then, news stories about Takata exploded, making company somewhat of a blackhat celebrity — even the best legal tv shows reported on the stories.
As of late May 2015, six fatalities and over one hundred injuries have been linked to Takata airbag ruptures in the United States, and the number of vehicles being recalled for the defect seems to increase continually. Up to this point, the recalls have affected an astounding 33.8 million vehicles across ten different American, German and Japanese automakers. The vehicles affected were mostly manufactured between 2001 and 2008. However in some cases, models affected may be as late as 2014.
As a PG County car accident firm, which regularly handles product defects, these details are especially disturbing. Airbags are meant to protect drivers and passengers in the event of an accident, and it is frightening to think that a catastrophe could be made even worse due to a faulty product, or that a relatively minor accident could turn fatal because of it. The airbag defects stem from cracks in the airbags’ steel inflators. These cracks are most likely to occur in humid conditions, and can lead to ruptures when the airbag is deployed. In some instances, these ruptures have led to shrapnel fatally wounding passengers and drivers in the face and neck. Our PG county car accident attorneys urge you to find out if your vehicle is affected by the recall and, if it is, minimize use of your vehicle until the problem is repaired. Unfortunately, estimates state that it could take up to two years to build new airbags for just the initially recalled ten million vehicles. The vehicle makers affected by the recall include the following:
- Toyota (including Lexus and Pontiac Vibe)
If you own a vehicle from one of these automakers, you would be wise to check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website and determine, using your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), whether your car was a part of the recall. To locate your VIN, go to the corner of your windshield on the driver’s side, where it meets the dashboard. In most cases, the VIN is written there. If not, look at the door post (where the door latches when it’s closed) on the driver’s side. You may alternately look on your vehicle registration for the VIN.
If you find that your car has been recalled due to the Takata recall, you may wish to speak to a qualified PG county car accident attorney about your legal options. Particularly in the Washington DC metro area, where summers are extremely humid, Takata airbags are susceptible to cracks in the inflators, which could result in fatal injuries in an accident. It is important to note that airbags still save millions of lives each year. However this recall is not to be taken lightly. For more information on your legal rights during the recall, contact Cohen & Cohen, PC today.