For the past decade, many vehicles from different automakers have been under a recall for defective airbags. Covered vehicles have airbags from Japanese parts manufacturer Takata. Drivers of vehicles that have defective airbags should take their vehicles to a dealership or service center for urgent repairs.
Despite the age of the Takata recall, the company’s airbags continue to endanger drivers. In fact, according to reporting from NPR, a defective Takata airbag killed a South Carolina driver in early 2021.
Airbags may explode
Takata began receiving complaints of defective airbags as early as 2006. The problem is not with the airbags themselves, however, but with the inflator that causes the airbags to deploy. Over time, inflators may corrode, causing them to explode. Regrettably, sharp metal pieces from the inflator may fly into a vehicle’s passenger cabin during an explosion.
Many have sustained injuries and some have died
The South Carolina driver who died after the car’s airbag exploded became the 19th person in the U.S. to fall victim to defective Takata airbags. Hundreds of other individuals have suffered life-altering injuries. While the Takata airbag recall affects roughly 100 million vehicles worldwide, it is not clear how many vehicles with faulty airbags remain on the road.
Knowlege is an issue
Owners of defective Takata airbags should receive a recall notice in the mail. Otherwise, they can use their vehicle’s identification number to determine if it needs repairs. With the recent fatality in South Carolina, though, the man was not the registered owner of the vehicle. Consequently, he may not have known the vehicle’s airbags were dangerous.
For drivers, the most effective way to avoid a catastrophe is to stop driving recalled vehicles until technicians complete repairs. Ultimately, though, anyone who suffers an injury because of a faulty Takata airbag may be eligible for substantial financial compensation from a settlement fund.