Ohio motorists may have heard that Takata, a Japanese maker of airbags, was ordered to recall millions of the inflators used in the airbags. Federal lawmakers are now asking that the recall is hastened because of the serious dangers posed by the bags.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration previously ordered the company to recall 29 million of the inflators. Now, the agency is trying to determine whether the company should be ordered to recall between 70 and 90 million more. Automakers have stated that the problem with the inflators is that Takata used ammonium nitrate in them, which is highly volatile and can cause the bags to violently explode. More than 100 people have been injured and 10 people have died because of the airbags.
A Senate committee report found that the company was aware of the dangers for as many as 12 years. Takata reportedly manipulated the safety data for the airbag inflators rather than making changes to them. The NHTSA stated that the airbags will not last as long as the vehicles in which they are installed. In all of the death and injury cases, the exploding airbags were in cars that were seven or more years old.
When people are seriously injured or killed by defective products such as these airbags, they or their loved ones may file civil lawsuits against all of those responsible for placing the product in the marketplace. Injured victims may want to speak with a personal injury attorney who has experience in products liability cases. An attorney may be able to identify all of the potential defendants to name in a lawsuit and then see if a settlement is possible as an alternative to going to trial.