Takata Corporation of Japan has been at the center of the largest automobile recall in history due to its defective airbags. While all defective auto parts pose a threat to the safety of drivers, passengers, and frequently other motorists, Takata defective airbags can unexpectedly cause fatal injuries. When a defective airbag is set off, or bursts for no apparent reason, it explodes with such force, metal shrapnel from the steering wheel flies into the cabin of the vehicle. More than a dozen people worldwide, most in the United States, have been killed due to severe lacerations caused by this shrapnel.
Why are the Airbags Exploding Violently?
An airbag is supposed to inflate in an instant to stop someone from slamming into parts of the car during an auto accident. Why is it, then, that certain Takata airbags are inflating too quickly, or with too much energy? The answer lies with the chemical components used in the inflator.
Takata put ammonium nitrate into the inflators of millions of its airbag models. This chemical compound is susceptible to breaking down if subject to extended periods of heat and humidity, or after many years. If the inflator is triggered after the ammonium nitrate has destabilized, it will not just inflate the airbag, it will blow it up in a dangerous shrapnel shower. It is worth noting that ammonium nitrate has been rejected for use in other applications before due to its instability.
How to Handle the Vehicle Recall
The risk of death caused by a defective Takata airbag is so great, it is simply unreasonable for anyone to continue driving an automobile equipped with these devices. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a mandatory recall that has effected dozens of millions of vehicles so far. Together with the help of automakers, they are trying to get these life-threatening vehicles off the road. If you or someone you know has a car selected in the recall, please contact your local dealership at your first opportunity to arrange a part replacement.
SaferCar.gov of the NHTSA keeps track of all vehicles affected by the Takata airbag recall. Click here to see if your car is on the list.
In addition to causes several deaths, Takata airbags have been linked to hundreds, if not thousands, of serious injuries. If you have been harmed due to a defective Takata airbag, Scarlett Law Group and our San Francisco catastrophic injury lawyers would like to hear your claim. With our legal representation, you may be able to collect fair and maximized compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact us to learn more.