Takata Airbags Spark Controversy Involving Feds

Airbag Injury California

Defective airbags manufactured by Takata, a Japanese company, are at the center of a controversy that now involves federal agencies that appear to be ignoring customer questions. Additionally, many customers were unable to have their vehicles repaired due to a shortage of replacement airbags.

Federal safety officials warned owners of cars affected by the Takata airbag problem that they should have the problem fixed immediately. However, when consumers tried to call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for answers, they were routinely put on hold and could not find the answers to their questions.

What Is The Problem With Takata Airbags?

According to reports, the problem is a faulty propellant inside air bags that becomes unstable and can explode during an accident. This explosion can send metal shards flying through the cabin and cause serious injury or death. So far, there have been three deaths and at least 100 injuries related to this problem.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued the recall after reviewing data on the faulty airbags. The recall affects more than 14 million vehicles from 11 different automakers.

The NHTSA Also Has Issues

However, the airbag and automobile manufacturers are not the only ones who are worried about the course of this airbag fiasco. The NHTSA’s website was set up this June to serve as a national clearinghouse for information on recalled vehicles. However, most of the features of the website were not working, creating problems with the high volume of inquiries this week after the agency’s announcement.

Automakers have tried to take up the slack by providing recall information on their own websites. The automakers affected by the warnings include:

  • Honda
  • Toyota
  • Nissan
  • Mazda
  • BMW
  • Chrysler
  • Subaru
  • Ford
  • Mitsubishi
  • General Motors

Other automakers may be included as the investigation into the airbag problem continues. Dealers are currently telling automobile owners that they may have to wait months for replacement parts.

Victims Dying and Suffering Injury Due to Airbag Defects

Hien Tran, one of the victims of the faulty airbags, died when her airbag exploded. Two other victims have also died and many more have been injured. Meanwhile, many auto makers are sending out recall notices only as parts become available, leaving many people vulnerable to injury.

So far, the vehicles affected include:

  • Toyota: 778,177 vehicles, including 2002 – 2004 Lexus SC, 2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla, 2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla Matrix, 2002 – 2004 Toyota Sequoia, 2003 – 2004 Toyota Tundra, and 2003 – 2004 Pontiac Vibe
  • Honda: 2,803,214 vehicles, including 2001 – 2007 Honda Accord (4 cyl), 2001 – 2002 Honda Accord (6 cyl), 2001 – 2005 Honda Civic, 2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V, 2003 – 2011 Honda Element, 2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey, 2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot, 2006 – Honda Ridgeline, 2003 – 2006 Acura MDX, and 2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL
  • Nissan: 437,712 vehicles, including 2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima, 2001 – 2003 Nissan Pathfinder, 2002 – 2003 Nissan Sentra, 2001 – 2003 Infiniti I30/I35, 2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4, and 2003 – Infiniti FX
  • Mazda: 18,050 vehicles, including 2003 – 2004 Mazda6 and 2004 Mazda RX-8
  • BMW: 573,935 vehicles, including 2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan, 2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe, 2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon, 2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible, 2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe, and 2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible
  • General Motors: 133,221 vehicles, including 2002 – 2003 Buick LeSabre, 2002 – 2003 Buick Rendezvous, 2002 – 2003 Cadillac DeVille, 2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer, 2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Impala, 2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Venture, 2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy, 2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy XL, 2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora, 2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada, 2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Silhouette, 2002 – 2003 Pontiac Bonneville, and 2002 – 2003 Pontiac Montana

If you have been affected by an airbag accident, it is important to protect your rights. Talk to a personal injury attorney about your case immediately.