Deadly Airbags Present in 14 Automakers
When we purchase a car, we expect that it is generally safe. All the parts are in working order, and we can trust that this vehicle will work properly. However, what we never consider is when a major manufacturer of airbags supplies their product to over 14 major motor vehicle companies, they are actually supplying a ticking bomb in our steering wheels.
Takata Corporation decided to make a cheaper and more cost-effective airbag for their clients using ammonium nitrate. This chemical compound is so unstable that Timothy McVeigh used it in his attack on the federal building in Oklahoma City. It becomes unstable when it begins to break down when exposed to water, humidity or even just time. Ammonium nitrate becomes so dangerous that it explodes causing shrapnel to fly out of the airbag and impale unsuspecting passengers.
The most troubling aspect is that Takata knew how dangerous this substance was and didn’t care about it. They first learned in the late 1990s and continued to skew studies, skirt regulators and refused a recall until Honda imposed one in 2014.
This is such a huge problem that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a staggering $70 million cash fine and an additional $130 million if Takata fails to meet its commitments or if additional violations of the Safety Act are discovered. This is the largest fine in NHTSA history.
Still, there is only 50% of vehicles on the road today that have been fixed. There are tens of thousands of cars driving around with unstable airbags, which can explode at any minute. When the airbag explodes and releases deadly shrapnel, these shards can cause traumatic brain injury, facial damage, internal bleeding and even death to the driver and anyone in the vehicle.
At The Michael Brady Lynch Firm, we take these cases very seriously, and we fight to make sure that Takata and their partners understand the seriousness as well. If you or a loved one have experienced a permanent scarring, severe lacerations, traumatic brain injury or death from an airbag, I urge you to contact us at 877-513-9517 for a free consultation.