The CEO of Takata Corporation has issued a public apology for defective airbags that have been linked to at least eight deaths worldwide and said the company is looking into the possibility of setting up a fund to compensate victims. According to news reports, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal this week called on the company to establish such a fund raising pressure on Takata as it confronts the biggest auto safety recall in U.S. history involving about 32 million vehicles produced by all major automakers.
During the hearing, Takata officials said they could not commit to such a compensation fund, but that they would consider it and return with an answer in two weeks. Takata airbag recalls began in 2008 and escalated in mid-2014. The faulty airbag inflators, which when deployed can send metal shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment, contain an explosive chemical found in fertilizer that deploys the airbags. Although millions of vehicles have been recalled, Takata has not provided a plan to ensure the safety of consumers. They still use the same controversial chemical – ammonium nitrate – to power their airbag inflators.
Potential Lawsuits and Problems
The recalls and costs to replace the faulty inflators continue to expand. In May, the airbag manufacturer agreed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to double recalls in the U.S. The company also potentially faces class-action lawsuits in the U.S. Takata is the major manufacturer that still uses ammonium nitrate, which is sensitive to temperature changes and humidity. Takata is still maintaining that ammonium nitrate is safe to use while other manufacturers have switched to alternative chemicals for their airbag inflators.
If You Have Been Injured
If you own a vehicle that has a Takata airbag inflator, it is important that you take it to a dealer or mechanic right away for a thorough inspection. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective Takata airbag, please contact an experienced auto product liability lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and ensure that you are being fairly and fully compensated for your losses.
Do preserve the vehicle in its current condition, unaltered, so that an expert can thoroughly examine it for defects, malfunctions and other evidence. It takes an experienced auto defect law firm to conduct an independent investigation and gather the evidence it takes to hold negligent manufacturers accountable.