Takata Airbag Recall Expands, NHTSA Faces Scrutiny

Takata Airbag Recall Expands to Over 7 Million Vehicles, Federal Safety Regulator Scrutinized

airbag recallNearly every major automobile manufacturer with cars in the United States has used Takata airbags, which are now under one of the largest safety airbag recalls in US history.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued yet another safety airbag recall for the exploding Takata airbags, bringing the total of recalled vehicles up to 7.8 million. Automobile manufacturers have issued many of their own vehicle recalls after finding Takata airbags in their cars and SUVs, most recently Nissan, Toyota, GM, and Mazda. In fact, many automobile manufacturers have issued vehicle recalls due to problems with Takata airbags for the last two years.

However, this large recall was initiated by the NHTSA after reports of not just severe burns and shrapnel injuries after the faulty airbags exploded, but also deaths of drivers and passengers.

“There’ve been more air bag recalls in the last couple years than in the previous five,” noted Clarence Ditlow, director of the Center for Auto Safety.

The vehicles covered in the nearly-8 million vehicle safety recall date as far back as 2000, according to the NHTSA. Part of the problem with Takata’s airbags is that the internal mechanism degrades with age, and exposure to moisture in the air. The safety recall focuses on warm states, including Florida, Hawaii, and South Carolina, as well as US territories like Puerto Rico, because high humidity can make the Takata airbag problem worse.

On Thursday, October 23rd, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward J. Markey sent a strongly-worded letter to the NHTSA, scolding the regulatory agency over its handling of the Takata airbag recall.

“We have become increasingly troubled and alarmed by the confusing and conflicting advice being issued by N.H.T.S.A., and the glacial pace of the agency’s response to this public safety threat,” said the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.

The NHTSA came under further scrutiny because its website, safercar.gov, was not working properly. The agency advertised the site to consumers who were concerned that their vehicle may have a Takata airbag and fall under the safety recall, but car owners complained that when they input their vehicle’s VIN, they did not receive information about their car’s model.

The NHTSA said the safety recall was urgent because at least four people have died due to the faulty Takata airbags.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury and Vehicle Recalls

If an airbag defect in your vehicle caused a car accident, you may not know immediately what recourse you have. Although the law is complicated, you do have legal recourse against the vehicle’s manufacturer. It is important for manufacturers to pay attention to the quality of their products and issue vehicle recall notices in a timely fashion – however, not all automobile manufacturers will do so, and consumers can be seriously injured or killed.

If you have experienced a problem with a defective product in your automobile, especially if a defective part has led to an auto accident or personal injury, and a proper vehicle recall notice has not been issued, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We can help you with complicated auto insurance claims, and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve to help you with lost income and medical bills. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in South Carolina, Georgia, and New York. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today at (803) 252-4800.

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