The family of Hein Tran, the driver injured when her airbag deployed in a crash in late September, has filed a lawsuit against auto manufacturer Honda in connection with her death in early October. The lawsuit is the first of its kind in that it links a faulty airbag directly to the death of a vehicle occupant.
Flying shrapnel was created when her Honda Accord struck another vehicle and her airbag deployed, causing numerous ‘stab-type’ wounds to Ms. Tran’s face, neck and torso. She died three days later from her injuries. The nature of the wounds at first perplexed law enforcement, as it appeared they may have been the result of an attempted homicide. Medical examiners later correctly identified the wounds as the result of flying pieces of metal from the airbag.
The airbag in Ms. Tran’s Accord was manufactured by Takata, a Japanese company that specializes in airbag systems. To date, there have been four deaths in the United States linked to faulty Takata airbags. Of those four, three occurred in Honda Accords. Honda uses Takata airbags in their Accord line, and Takata is also named as a party in the Tran family’s lawsuit.
Since 2008, approximately 16 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide due to the potentially dangerous issues with airbag parts involving more than a dozen auto manufacturers. In the wake of the recent incidents involving these airbags, Honda currently has issued a recall on their models. Of special concern is the evidence that Takata knew that these parts could cause severe injury and continued to use them to manufacture airbags.
The Tran family’s lawsuit alleges that both Takata and Honda failed to notify consumers as soon as safety issues became known. It is unclear at this point how much Honda knew about the problems with Takata’s airbag systems prior to using them in their vehicles. The Tran family believes that if Ms. Tran had been notified that there was a recall on the airbags in her 2001 Honda Accord, her life could have been spared.
Contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. immediately at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) if you or a loved one have been injured due to a defective product.
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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