Contact A Lawyer
Have A Potential Case Reviewed By An Attorney
More than 11 million additional vehicles are being recalled by Japanese automakers, due to potentially deadly problems with Takata airbags installed in the vehicles, which could cause the device to overinflate and explode.
Last week Honda, Nissan and Toyota announced they were making additional Takata airbag recalls due to the risk that the airbags may rupture. Honda and Toyota recalled about 5 million additional vehicles each, while Nissan announced it was recalling 1.5 million vehicles.
Faulty Takata airbag inflators are present in millions of vehicles sold by at least ten major auto makers, which may cause the airbags to explode and send shrapnel or other debris flying towards drivers or passengers.
The latest recalls raise the number of cars and trucks pulled from the market due to defective Takata airbag inflators to about 35 million since 2008, with most of those recalled in the last year. At least six deaths and dozens of injuries have been linked to the airbags, which can overinflate until they explode. All of the deaths have occurred in Honda vehicles.
Most of the Toyota vehicles being recalled are overseas. However, in a May 13 press release, the company said that about 637,000 of the vehicles being recalled are in the U.S., including:
- 160,000 model year 2004 and 2005 RAV4 sport utility vehicles
- 177,000 model year 2004-2004 Tundra and 2004 Sequoia vehicles
- 300,000 2006 and 2007 Corolla Matrix and Sequoia vehicles, 2005-2006 Tundra vehicles, and 2005-2007 Lexus SC vehicles.
“Toyota’s focus remains on the safety and security of our customers, and we will continue to respond promptly to new developments so we can resolve issues for them as quickly, conveniently and safely as possible,” Toyota USA’s chief quality officer, Dino Triantafyllos, said in a statement.
Neither Nissan nor Honda have released details about their recalls beyond the estimated number of vehicles affected. Honda officials said none of the additional 4.9 million vehicles it was recalling were sold in the U.S. The recall brings that company’s global total to 11.4 million vehicles.
The new recalls come as U.S. regulators examine the possibility of taking extraordinary measures to intervene in the recall process, which they say is moving too slowly. Last month, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) director Mark Rosekind said the agency is likely to take some form of action to speed up the recalls, but did not specify what those actions would be.
With only a fraction of necessary airbag replacements manufactured so far, the NHTSA has also suggested that it may take unprecedented steps to increase supply, by requiring more manufacturers to produce them.
Takata Airbag Inflator Lawsuits
A growing number of product liability lawsuits over injuries or deaths caused by Takata airbag inflators are being filed nationwide, all involving similar allegations that design defects caused the airbags to overinflate and explode.
On February 5, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered all Takata airbag lawsuits filed in federal courts nationwide to be consolidated under one judge for pretrial proceedings as part of a Takata airbag MDL.
More than 100 Takata airbag lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system have been transferred to U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno in the Southern District of Florida to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.