NHTSA Requires Takata to Increase Repairs of Recalled Airbags

Product Liability

NHTSA issued an amended order on December 9, 2016 requiring Takata to perform defective airbag recall repairs faster.   The order affects 19 vehicle manufacturers and requires the first available replacement parts to go to the riskiest vehicles.  At present, it is estimated that there are 29 million U.S. vehicles subject to the airbag recall with a total of 46 million parts requiring replacement.  Despite the known problems with the product, new vehicles are still being sold with defective airbags because of a lack of supply of quality parts.

The Department’s goal is to ultimately recall all Takata airbar inflators that use PSAN (or non-desiccated phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate).  As of December 2, 2016, vehicle manufacturers have only reported that 12.5 million airbag inflation devices have been repaired.  Overall, the airbag recall is expected to impact 69 million vehicles, including new ones being sold today.

What’s the Danger With These Airbags?

What makes these airbag inflators so deadly is the degradation of the PSAN propellant due to environmental factors such as moisture and repeated high temperatures.  Degraded PSAN causes the propellant to burn faster than was designed.  This causes the airbag inflator to explode and send metal shrapnel through the airbag and into the passenger compartment.  The metal shrapnel can cause serious injury or death to the occupants.

Deadline of 2019 to Prove Airbag Inflator Problems Have Been Solved

The government has given Takata a deadline through 2019 to show proof that the airbag inflation problems have been fixed.  If they cannot be shown to be safe, those airbags will also be recalled.  You should go to the database and enter your VIN number to find out whether your car is subject to the recall.  As mentioned above, your vehicle may have defective airbags even if was a new vehicle after the airbag recall was well under way as are not enough non-defective parts to equip every new vehicle sold today.

Takata is one of the very few manufacturers in the world who produces vehicle airbags and their market share is enormous.  It would be very difficult to try to buy a new vehicle without a Takata airbag component inside it.  One out of every six vehicles on the road today has a defective airbag that can result in injuries due to shrapnel.

Serious Injury or Death From a Defective Airbag

If you or someone you know has suffered a serious injury or death as a result of a defective Takata airbag, please a Lakeland product liability attorney for a free case review.  We can evaluate whether your claim involves a recalled airbag and whether your damages are financially justifiable to bring a lawsuit.  If you live in Lakeland or Polk County and have a defective airbag claim, we are your front line to bring a claim.  Call us today for help with your case.

Settlement Update

A settlement was proposed in In Re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, Master Case No. 1:15-MD-02599-FAM.  To find out if your VIN is part of the proposed settlement, click here.


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December 09, 2016