After a Takata-made airbag ruptured in a junked Toyota subcompact vehicle at a scrapyard in Japan last week, Toyota Motor Corp. announced that it was expanding and stepping up its recall for the problem. This week, carmakers Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. have also announced that they will broaden the scope of their recall of vehicles equipped with these airbags.
According to Honda, 400,000 more of their vehicles worldwide will be added to the recall, including the Fit compact. Nissan announced that they would recall 152,000 more vehicles and replace the airbags.
Honda has been the hardest hit company when it comes to recalls for defective Takata airbags, many of which have a defective inflator, which can result in the bag deploying with excessive force, causing metal shrapnel to be blown into the vehicle and at the driver and/or passengers. The problem was so acute that Honda secured two alternate airbag suppliers to provide replacements for Takata’s devices. So far, six people have been killed and about 30 injured due to the defect. Two of those killed were a pregnant woman in Malaysia and her unborn child.
The latest incident came while a 2003 Toyota subcompact was being dismantled at a Japanese scrapyard. The “unusual deployment” had enough force to shatter the windshield of the car
Last month, regulators with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered Takata to expand their recall nationwide, an expansion of its current regional recall, which is limited to areas with high heat and humidity, including the Texas Gulf Coast. Takata refused, however, which makes the carmakers essentially responsible for fixing the problem.
Honda officials have said that, if and when investigators determine the exact cause is the fault of Takata, they would negotiate a return of all or most of their costs in recalling so many vehicles. So far, Honda has recalled 13.4 million vehicles globally. Overall, the total number of recalled vehicles for Takata airbags is 19.8 million worldwide.
If you receive a recall notice, be sure to follow the instructions exactly. This is a potentially very dangerous problem. While the recalls are largely rgional, many parts of Texas are included in the recall, and more may be included soon. We’ll keep you updated.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a vehicle accident, and you believe a defective airbag or other safety device may have been a factor in the injury or death, please contact the experienced Texas Automotive Defect Lawyers at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible, to protect your rights.