Earlier this month, a Japanese airbag manufacturer, Takata, announced the largest recall of automotive parts in U.S. history, with estimates of the number of affected US vehicles in the 34-million range. According to a national CNN news report, the airbags were recalled because they have been shown to send shrapnel into the faces of front-seat occupants upon deploying.
According to the report, there have been approximately six deaths worldwide that have been tied to the faulty airbags, mostly occurring in older-model vehicles. The fact that many of the recalled vehicles are older make the situation different from many other recent recalls, which generally involve newer vehicles.
The Total Number of Recalled Vehicles
The exact number of vehicles that are subject to the recall is unknown. Even more uncertain is how many of the recalled vehicles will actually get brought in to the dealer for the necessary repairs. Experts claim that because the recall affects so many older models owners may be hard to track down, given that the vehicles may have changed hands numerous times.
With that said, the current estimates of affected vehicles worldwide are in the 54-million range. Vehicles in the United States make up a large portion of that total number, comprising about 60% of the total.
The company responsible for the faulty airbags, Takata, is currently only producing about 500,000 of the airbags a month. However, they plan on stepping up production in the coming months. Given the massive amount of vehicles involved, some experts surmise that it may take between two and five years for Takata to complete repairs on all the affected vehicles.
Manufacturer Liability in Auto Recalls
By the nature of issuing a recall, the manufacturer of the faulty part admits that there was some design defect or other problem with their component. In many cases, a recall is only issued after there is evidence that the faulty part poses an actual safety threat to those using the vehicle. This means that many recalls are only announced after there have been serious or fatal accidents caused by the faulty part.
Moreover, not all recalled vehicles are immediately repaired. As the article discussed above notes, it may take years for the airbag manufacturer to replace all of the faulty airbags. This means that there may be recalled vehicles out on the road for the next several years.
Have You Been Injured by a Faulty Airbag?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in any type of car accident that resulted in an airbag deploying, and you believe that your injuries were worsened by a faulty airbag, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for any injuries you sustained. However, these types of lawsuits can be complex, especially when it comes to determining damages, since the manufacturer may allege that any injuries were caused by the accident itself, rather than by a faulty airbag. To avoid a savvy manufacturer shifting blame for your accident onto someone else, speak with a dedicated personal injury attorney prior to filing your case. The skilled advocates at the Dean Law Firm have years of experience holding negligent parties accountable for their actions, including auto-part manufactures. Call 352-387-8700 today to set up a free initial consultation with an attorney today.
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Tragic Florida Van Accident Claims 8 Lives, Injures 10 Others, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published April 3, 2015.
Walgreen’s Pharmacy Facing Several Claims of Pharmacy Errors, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published May 18, 2015.