Takata Product Liability Case Settled With 4 Companies
I’m Ed Smith, a Berkeley car accident lawyer. In documents that were filed May 18, four car manufacturers reached a settlement on the Takata product liability case to compensate 15.8 million owners of motor vehicles in connection with the Takata air bag recall. The automakers, Toyota, Mazda, BMW and Subaru agreed to a compensation of $553 million. In addition, they agreed to increase the effort to repair vehicles still equipped with the faulty air bags.The proposed settlement figure has not yet been approved by the court.
Defect in Takata Air Bags
The problem with the air bags is in the inflator. It is a metal cartridge that holds propellant wafers. In some instances, the housing ruptures, which can cause metal shards to spray inside the vehicle. The problem has been tied to the ammonium nitrate propellant, which has shown a tendency to break down and become unstable with time.
Delays in Repairs
According to statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, only 56.88 percent of the air bags had been repaired in Honda vehicles as of the date of this post. The repair rate is even lower for Toyota, Subaru, BMW and Mazda.
Injury and Death Rate
So far, 11 deaths in the United States have been attributed to the faulty air bags, along with 180 injuries. The latest death reported was that of a woman from Riverside County. She was driving an older Honda Civic when she crashed into a man driving a Chevrolet pickup. Last summer, a truck that crashed on a road near a Texas home killed one woman and injured four others when the explosives and parts for the air bag the truck was carrying detonated.
The Takata air bag, along with other defective manufacturer products, can cause serious injuries. The manufacturer may be held liable for auto products liability in these cases. In product liability cases there are two main components to a lawsuit. They are: Design and manufacturer issues. In short, the design can be faulted if the vehicle was built in such a way that it could be considered unsafe. Manufacturing involves not just the main manufacturer but any manufacturer of parts, such as airbags, that are used in the final product. Product liability also involves the marketing of the vehicle and the existence of inaccurate labeling or lack of sufficient safety instructions.
Another aspect of product manufacturing responsibility deals with the obligation to issue warnings or recalls about the product. If this obligation is ignored, injuries and deaths may result. These can include head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or abdominal trauma, to mention a few.
Berkeley Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Berkeley car accident lawyer. Takata air bags have caused numerous injuries and deaths. If you believe your accident or that of a loved one was caused by a defective air bag, call me at (510) 631-0200 for friendly, free advice about your injury or the wrongful death of a family member. The toll-free phone number is (800) 404-5400.
I have been a long-time California member of Million Dollar Advocates, a group open to only the small percentage of attorneys who have obtained settlements or verdicts of $1 million or more for clients.
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