Takata Air Bag Recall Expanded

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified a Pennsylvania teenager as the eighth person to die in the U.S. because of an exploding Takata air bag. The accident happened this past July just outside of Pittsburgh. The teen was driving a family member’s 2001 Honda Accord coupe when he ran off the road and struck a fallen tree. The Takata air bag, which had been recalled but not yet repaired, ruptured in the crash, critically injuring the teen. Tragically, he died in the hospital a few days later. NHTSA officials say the fatal injury was likely caused by the ruptured air bag and not the crash itself. The agency is working with the teen’s family, Honda and Takata to confirm that conclusion.

Following this announcement, the agency has added four car models to its recall of vehicles with Takata air bags. The move could result in the recall of several hundred thousand additional vehicles. Already, more than 19 million vehicles in the U.S. have been recalled to replace air bags on the driver’s side or passenger’s side, or both. The most recent recalled models include:

  • 2005-2008 Mazda6
  • 2002-2004 Honda CR-V
  • 2005-2008 Subaru Legacy
  • 2005-2008 Subaru Outback

Under certain conditions, the air bags can inflate with too much force, causing an explosion that can propel metal shrapnel into drivers and passengers. The risk of this happening is greater in regions with high humidity, but the problem can remain with a recalled car long after moving away. Ruptured Takata air bags have been linked to nine deaths worldwide, including eight in the U.S. All of the deaths happened in Honda vehicles. There have also been more than 100 reported incidents of people injured by exploding Takata air bags. Unfortunately, these numbers are only expected to grow. Government safety officials report that only about one quarter of recalled Takata air bags have been repaired to date. That leaves roughly 15 million vehicles in need of repairs to prevent a potentially deadly explosion in a device that is designed to be a lifesaver.

So far, Takata has been ordered to pay $70 million in fines for the delay, misdirection and refusal to acknowledge the truth about a deadly defect in its air bags. Total fines could climb to $200 million if the company violates the terms of its agreement with the U.S. government. As a precaution, the NHTSA recently appointed an independent monitor to oversee Takata’s compliance and report illegal or unethical conduct to federal regulators. John D. Buretta, a former principal deputy assistant attorney general for the U.S. Justice Department, has been named for the job.

Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Fight for Those Harmed by Exploding Air Bags

If you or a loved was involved in a wreck and sustained additional injuries when the air bag deployed, you may be entitled to compensation. Maryland car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton have successfully recovered more than $100 million for accident victims and their families. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to schedule a free case review or contact us online. A compassionate and knowledgeable member of our legal team is available to take your call and answer your questions 24 hours a day.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent victims of defective air bags throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.