Airbags were placed into vehicles to help prevent injuries in an accident. They are complicated pieces of equipment and rely on the exact amount of explosive material to quickly release the safety equipment. Airbags were first offered as an option on select vehicles in the 1980s and become required under law in the early 1990s.
However, despite these safety benefits, more and more Florida residents are complaining about a faulty airbag systems that was manufactured by Japanese auto parts company Takata. During numerous incidents, the airbags deploy with such force that the occupant of the vehicle is severely injured. So far, four fatalities and around 100 injuries have been linked to the defective airbags.
In early 2014, Florida resident Claribel Nunez crashed a 2001 Honda Civic. During the accident, the airbag deployed and shot shrapnel out. The material caused a gash over her forehead that required 12 stitches. She suffered other injuries and continues to be in pain from the accident.
Furthermore, an Orlando woman died in September of 2014 after crashing a 2001 Honda Accord. The airbag deployed and plastic and metal fragments were sprayed throughout the vehicle. Hien Tran suffered significant head and neck injuries during the accident from the airbag, according to an autopsy report that was released November 19, 2014.
Takata claims that the high temperatures and humidity in places like Florida are causing the devices to rupture and malfunction. The company offered a limited recall for the device in southern states, but the National Highway Safety Administration is forcing auto manufacturers and Takata to widen the recall. The agency wants to see all of the airbags, which are installed in 11 million vehicles manufactured by Honda, Chrysler, Nissan and others, recalled.
According to several media reports, although Takata has been aware of the problem since 2004, it failed to report their concerns until 2008. In October, Honda expanded a limited recall of the airbags in southern states to nearly 6 million vehicles.
Takata has resisted the push by the NHSA to expand the recall to all 11 million vehicles. They believe the auto manufacturing companies should issue the recall and not the supplier. Takata representatives testified before Congress on December 3, 2014 and defended the company’s position.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident that was caused by a faulty airbag, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. immediately at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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