Despite a government takeover of the management of the recall of Takata brand airbag inflators over three years ago, one third of the recalled items have yet to be replaced, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal news report. These numbers are according to an annual report on recalls released earlier this year by the federal government as well as a court-appointed product recall monitor. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), noted in the annual report, claims that 19 automakers were involved in the recall process and repair rates across these companies increased 30% during the year.
The Recall Issue
That being said, there are still 1.67 million defective air bag inflators out of 50 million under recall yet to be recalled. Moreover, 10 million more airbag inflators are scheduled to be recalled in January 2019. According to safety advocates, the completion rate of recall replacements should be much higher considering the danger associated with the defective airbag inflators.
The Takata airbag inflator devices use the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a tiny explosion that inflates the airbags upon impact. Because the inflators can explode with too much force, the metal canister within it can be blown apart and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers in the vehicle.
In fact, at least 23 people have been killed by Takata airbags worldwide with hundreds injured as a result of the defective products. As a result of the recall, Takata was forced to seek bankruptcy protection and was required to sell most of its assets to pay for the recall repairs. The airbag inflators become more potentially dangerous as they age because the chemical ammonium nitrate deteriorates because of high humidity as well as hot and cold cycles. For this reason, the most dangerous inflators are those located in vehicles in areas in the South along the Gulf of Mexico.
Personal Injury Claims
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury due to a defective product, you may have a valid product liability claim. When it comes to Nevada product liability lawsuits, which are generally broad, these types of claims fall under three general types - defective design, defective manufacture, or failure to provide adequate warnings.
Defective design claims allege the product is inherently defective or dangerous. These types of claims allege that even if the product was made perfectly to specifications, it is still defective because its underlying design is bad.
Defective manufacture claims allege that the product is flawed because of an error in making it - in short, an issue at the factory where the product was fabricated. As a result, the defective product is different from all the other ones on the shelves.
Failure to warn claims allege that the product is dangerous in a way that is not obvious to the user and the maker failed to provide adequate instructions or warnings about its proper use.
Legal Help in Nevada
The Nevada personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau have years of experience representing the injured across the state of Nevada. We can help guide you through the complex personal injury legal system. Contact us today for your initial case evaluation.
(image courtesy of Alvaro Reyes)