Skip to Main Content

Fifteen Auto Makers Involved in Largest Ever Airbag Recall

On May 19, Takata – one of the world’s largest airbag suppliers – announced that it was recalling nearly 34 million airbags installed in vehicles across the United States. That number officially makes this the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.

The NHTSA is still working with Takata to identify all of the vehicles in which the defective airbags were installed, so you should check the website periodically for updates. We have posted the initial list here: UPDATE: Takata Expands Airbag Recall.

What is Wrong with Takata’s Airbags?

Beginning at least as early as 2000, Takata sold airbags to manufacturers including Acura, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Subaru, and Toyota that included defective airbag inflators. The inflators contain an ammonium nitrate-based propellant which can degrade over time when exposed to moisture. The degraded propellant burns too strongly when the airbags activate, causing an explosion that ruptures the inflator and launches metal fragments throughout the passenger cabin.

In cases where the defective airbags have exploded, victims have suffered injuries consistent with gunshot wounds and stabbings. Victims have also reported eye injuries resulting in blindness, neck injuries, nose fractures, and severe lacerations that will lead to permanent scarring and disfigurement. At least five accidents involving the defective airbags have been fatal.

Fatal Houston Car Accident Linked to Possible Takata Airbag Defect

While not yet confirmed, the death of a Spring, TX man in a two-car crash in Houston is suspected to be the fifth fatality caused by the airbag inflator defect. Carlos Solis was driving his 2002 Honda Accord when a collision with another vehicle caused his airbag to inflate. Despite the crash being fairly minor, Mr. Solis died before the ambulance arrived on the scene. Emergency responders reported that his only injuries were consistent with those caused by the defective airbags.

What You Can Do if Your Vehicle has been Recalled

With the seriousness of the issue, you are right to feel concerned if your vehicle is subject to the Takata airbag recall. Yet, Automotive News and Consumer Reports have reported that it may take Takata years to supply replacement airbags for all of the affected vehicles. Other suppliers may be able to help, but they will need time and money to build the facilities and tooling necessary to manufacture compatible airbags.

Since the defect is triggered by moisture, car owners who reside in high-humidity areas – including Texas and other states along the Gulf coast – will be prioritized for receiving replacements. However, at a minimum your new airbag is still likely weeks or months away.

With this in mind, here are some things you can do if your vehicle has been recalled:

  • Respond to the recall. Get your vehicle on the list and get in line for a replacement airbag.
  • Consider minimizing your driving, renting a car, using public transportation, or carpooling. If you’re lucky, you may be able to get the dealer to give you a loaner.
  • Follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. For example, Toyota (and only Toyota) has recommended disabling the defective airbags.
  • Contact Zehl & Associates. Our firm has handled more than 250 automotive defect cases nationwide and recovered over $1 Billion in compensation for victims of personal injuries and wrongful death. We can help you determine if you are at risk and take appropriate action to enforce your legal rights.

Contact the Law Firm with the #1 Largest Auto Accident Verdict in the State of Texas

If you have questions about the Takata airbag recall, or if you have suffered airbag-related injuries, we want to hear from you. Our attorneys will fight to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your losses. Call (888) 603-3636 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.