The largest vehicle recall in U.S. history just got bigger. On Jan. 18, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalled vehicles from over a dozen automakers due to defective Takata air bag inflators. The recall is part of an ongoing effort to get the dangerous inflators off the road in North Carolina, throughout the U.S., and other parts of the world.
The NHTSA announcement lists models from 14 separate manufacturers, including BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen. The models are part of a 3.3 million vehicle recall expansion announced by Takata in December.
So far, 42 million vehicles from 19 different car makers have been recalled due to the faulty inflators. The inflators use explosive ammonium nitrate to rapidly expand air bags in a car accident. However, when exposed to high temperatures and humidity over long periods of time, the chemical can deteriorate and explode with too much force. This can cause the metal canister to explode and shoot shrapnel at the occupants of the vehicle. The inflators have killed at least 21 people around the world, and more than 180 people have been injured.
When a manufacturer makes a defective consumer product, it could be found liable for any injuries or deaths that occur as a result. Further, all parties along the distribution chain could also be held responsible. In these types of cases, injured victims may have grounds to file a products liability lawsuit against the responsible parties. Victims could learn more about their legal options by discussing their case with an attorney.
Source: USA Today, “14 automakers list more models in Takata air bag recall“, Tom Krisher, Jan. 18, 2018