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Takata Airbag Recall and Lawsuit

Airbags offer safety to drivers and passengers in a car crash. However, what happens when airbags put them in harm’s way? This is the issue with Takata airbags. 

Airbags from this manufacturer, when deployed, shoots shrapnel into drivers and passengers. The victims often come out with permanent scars, fractures, loss of vision or even death. 

Unfortunately, the US has recorded thousands of these incidents. About 19 deaths and 400 injuries have been reported in the country alone.

Takata Airbag Recall and Lawsuit

Airbags offer safety to drivers and passengers in a car crash. However, what happens when airbags put them in harm’s way? This is the issue with Takata airbags. 

Airbags from this manufacturer, when deployed, shoots shrapnel into drivers and passengers. The victims often come out with permanent scars, fractures, loss of vision or even death. 

Unfortunately, the US has recorded thousands of these incidents. About 19 deaths and 400 injuries have been reported in the country alone.

Based on this occurrence, there’s an ongoing mass recall of Takata airbags in the US. 

The NHTSA deems it to be one of the most prominent safety recall in United States history. This recall mainly affects Takata airbags installed in vehicles, especially the 2002 to 2015 models from different automobile manufacturers.

In light of the harms and distress brought on by this nationwide occurrence, certain automakers have been named as defendants in a class action. 

These claims accuse them of installing recalled Takata airbags in their vehicles. Now they have to settle a growing number of plaintiffs.

Chances are that you might own one of the affected vehicle models or have been a victim of Takata airbag deployment malfunction. Read on to learn more about the issue and the proper steps to take to get justice for yourself and your loved ones in this article.        

Takata Airbag Recall

Since 2016, there has been an ongoing recall of Takata airbags. 

So far, about 42 million vehicles and 56 inflators are under recall. The recalled cars are having their airbags replaced. Nevertheless, nearly 100 million Takata airbags replacement inflators face a possible recall should they also prove to be a safety risk.

However, why are these recalls happening? 

Takata airbags launch shrapnels at drivers or passengers when deployed in a car crash

This negative turned a supposed safety device into a deadly weapon. 

The inflator of these airbags is at the center of this disaster.

Airbags come with an inflator; a metallic cartridge filled with propellant. Rupturing the inflator during a crash could send metal scraps flying to the vehicle’s occupants, causing them mild to severe harm.

NHTSA has narrowed down the reason for this mishap. It found that propellants based on ammonium nitrate without a drying agent tend to break down and become unstable with time. 

So, if a car crash occurs, these unstable propellants could burst and send metallic pieces flying around the vehicle.

They’re more prone to this change in conditions of low humidity or extreme heat.

Therefore, the recall plan prioritizes vehicles according to their zones. Hot and humid areas are tagged zone A, less hot and humid regions are called zone B and least hot and humid places are classified as zone C. 

Consequently, inflators in Takata airbags are more prone to rupture in zone A states like Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, California, Alabama, Hawai, Louisiana, etc. Thus, recall efforts have higher intensity in these locations since they tend to be in immediate danger.

Furthermore, the ‘Alpha’ airbags have a higher risk of exploding. They’re found in some 2001 — 2003 Honda and Cura vehicles and 2006 Mazda B-series and Ford Rangers. 

Vehicles Involved in the Recall

Knowing if your vehicle is part of the recall starts from getting context into the auto manufacturers involved before seeking out the vehicle models in question.

Most automakers incorporated airbags made by Takata Holdings, Inc. 

As a result, their vehicles have the inherent dangers of these airbags when deployed. 

Victims of Takata airbags are owners or passengers of cars from these brands:

  • BMW
  • Ford
  • Acura
  • Honda
  • Lexus
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Subaru
  • Toyota
  • Dodge
  • Chrysler
  • Infiniti
  • Saab
  • Mazda
  • Pontiac

NOTE: The Takata airbag recall concerns the 2002 — 2015 models of these vehicles.

Takata Airbag Lawsuit

Airbag propellant bursting and launching metal scraps at vehicle occupants is unfortunate because they’re supposed to protect. However, someone undertook the manufacture of these airbags. Still, another set went on to install them as a right fit for manufactured vehicles.

Therefore, someone must be held responsible for the hurt, death and loss encountered by the victims.

In addition, Takata airbag malfunction victims deserve settlement for the harm these manufacturers exposed them. 

Thus, many claims and lawsuits have been launched at TK Holdings, Inc and the auto manufacturers who installed Takata airbags in their vehicles. Victims and loved ones of affected persons can file a Takata airbag lawsuit and receive due compensation for their trouble.

A class action worth nearly $1.6 billion is active against the following manufacturers:

  • Ford
  • Nissan
  • BMW
  • Honda
  • Toyota
  • Mazda
  • Volkswagen
  • Subaru

These defendants are accused of installing over 100 million Takata airbags involved in the recall. Now, they have to settle claimants affected by their decision to install these airbags.

Settlement for the class action termed “Takata MDL economic loss settlement” covers nearly 32 million of these recalled airbags where a financial loss claim to consumers exists. 

This fund reimburses individuals who owned or leased a vehicle from the named manufacturers. Its aim is to cover expenses they made out of pocket, replace their airbags and give them loaner cars as “substitutes” for the faulty ones.

Besides the class action, individuals can file Takata airbag lawsuits with the help of a seasoned lawyer or legal team to get compensation for the hardship these faulty airbags brought on them. Additionally, there are different avenues for receiving compensation. 

Compensation for Takata Airbag Lawsuit Plaintiffs

Individuals who have been through some hardship or loss due to Takata airbag malfunction after a car crash can file lawsuits against Takata Holding Inc. and their vehicle’s manufacturer. Some persons have sustained various injuries, whereas some have died because of these Takata airbags.

To hold the companies involved responsible, victims or their loved ones can take legal action against them. Each affected person can get monetary compensation to offset some of the accidents’ financial loss.

However, there are different avenues to get settlement. Certain avenues are open to all involved, while some are exclusive to a particular set of persons. 

Avenues for Compensation

TK Holdings, Inc in the United States is currently facing bankruptcy. 

Nevertheless, it has crafted three channels for Takata airbag victims and future plaintiffs to get compensation for the associated injury and loss. 

Certain victims may be entitled to compensation from one avenue, whereas others can access compensation from all three. 

These avenues include:

  • Takata Airbag Individual Restitution Fund

TK Holdings, Inc in the United States pleaded guilty to fraud before the Federal Court in the Eastern District of Michigan. 

As a result, the court ordered a fund to be set up. This fund will see to the compensation of victims of personal injury as well as wrongful death resulting from faulty Takata airbag inflators. It’ll also cater to future victims.

Specifically, only claimants who haven’t settled their claims against Takata can benefit from this fund. The fund will pay an excess of $125 million to qualified past, present and future victims of this mishap. 

  • Takata Bankruptcy Trust

The Takata bankruptcy trust is for claimants with proof of personal injury due to a faulty Takata airbag inflator. This fund came in as a contingency against bankruptcy to benefit the eligible past and future victims.

The estimated amount of this trust lies between $90 million and $137 million. However, it’s expected to rise rather than reduce as time passes. 

Personal injury victims from Takata airbags had access to this trust starting around mid-year 2018. 

NOTE: Personal injury victims are the main beneficiaries of this Takata bankruptcy trust.

  • Participant Original Equipment Manufacturer (POEM) Fund

This fund is more particular to victims that own or lease a specific vehicle from specific auto manufacturers. 

The POEM fund exists for people harmed by a Takata airbag in Honda and Accura vehicles. Notably, Honda vehicles are embroiled in more of these accidents than vehicles from other manufacturers.

Nevertheless, Nissan North America, Inc, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd and other brand affiliates agreed to become a POEM. 

These funds will compensate victims previously injured by the Takata airbag and future victims.

Injuries and Damages Covered By the Compensation

Car crash victims of ruptured Takata airbags often get varying degrees of personal injury. This accidents can prove fatal. For context, 19 persons have died from the incidence in the US alone. 

For those who got injured, some of their injuries could leave them temporally or permanently scarred. Some of the injuries could be more debilitating than others, forcing affected individuals to about their daily activities with defective body parts.

Regardless of the harm, each individual spends money to care for themselves. Although some tend to spend more on doing that than others do, the compensation serves helps these victims recover some, if not all, that they lost financially due to the incident.

Takata airbag accident injuries include:

  • Cuts that require stitches
  • Scarring of the face and body
  • Whole or partial loss of vision
  • Fracture of the skull and bones
  • Injury to the vocal cord
  • Damaged nerves
  • Hearing impairment
  • Varying grades of brain injury
  • Possible harm to the fetus

When you file a Takata airbag lawsuit following these harms, you can receive compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical and mental pain or suffering
  • Wages lost due to injury
  • Expenses on special accommodations

People who lost loved ones due to fatal injuries from Takata airbags can file suits and get compensation for the following:

  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of a companion for spouses
  • Loss of support

Many factors come into play in determining the type and amount of settlement each loved one will receive. However, to succeed in recieving a fair compensation, you’ll require help form an experienced attorney.

Eligibility Criteria for Takata Airbag Lawsuit Compensation

To file a Takata airbag lawsuit, you must have been in a crash where the airbag was deployed and caused bodily harm. 

The accident could’ve been due to driving errors. But what matters is that the Takata airbag installed in the vehicle malfunctioned and caused injuries.

For the class action settlement, eligible candidates are:

  • Individuals who own or lease an affected vehicle sold or leased out in the United States and its territories.
  • Former car owners who have sold a subject vehicle after and through specific dates.
  • A former lessee who has returned a subject vehicle at the end of the lease after and through specific dates.

However, it’s vital to note that airbag injuries can result from non-faulty airbags. 

Thus, it’ll help to have an expert attorney look at your claims before filing a suit. Doing this will save you from avoidable disappointment.

How to File Takata Airbag Lawsuit

Many victims are filing Takata airbag claims and getting compensation. 

Albeit confidential, these settlements are often around $10.000 for injuries like bruises and $5 million for death or loss of vision. Claimants who aren’t satisfied with the compensation can proceed to take the case to court.

Whatever the case, you’ll need an attorney fully versed in this situation. Besides checking vital Takata airbag lawsuit information, your attorney can do the following:

  • Review your case for free
  • Explain your legal options
  • Evaluate your eligibility
  • Gather necessary documents and supporting evidence
  • Counsel you on the best course of action
  • Negotiate a worthwhile compensation

The importance of an experienced lawyer in a Takata airbag lawsuit can’t be over-emphasized. Another great prospect is that you might not be required to pay for their services until the case has been won. 

Final words

Takata airbag faces what the NHTSA deems to be the United States’ largest safety recall in automotive history. 

The propellant in the airbag’s inflator — ammonium nitrate — doesn’t include a drying agent resulting in an explosion when the airbag deploys. 

This explosion has led to death and varying bodily harm to individuals involved.

From 2016, about 42 million vehicles and 56 million inflators have been recalled. This problem is pervasive as many manufacturers installed Takata airbags in their cars.

Victims of the defective airbags are filing suits hoping to get settlement for their troubles. Interestingly, there’s a $1.6 billion class action naming auto manufacturers like BMW, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, etcetera as defendants. 

Takata has laid out funds for compensating the victims of their airbag malfunction. The compensation ranges from $10,000 to $5 million. With it, victims can settle some of the costs incurred as consequences of Takata airbag malfunction.

To get a fair shot at getting compensated, victims need a top-notch lawyer or legal team to assist them. The lawyer will review the case, explain the legal options available and decide on the best course of action. 

Hiring a lawyer with little experience and success rates could be counterproductive to the lawsuit’s goals.  

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