The Japanese corporation Takata, which has been manufacturing seatbelts, airbags, child restraint systems and other interior parts for automobiles for over 70 years, has forced automobile manufacturers to recall 3.4 million vehicles due to its faulty airbags. These airbags distributed to popular models, including Toyota Corollas and Honda Civics can cause fires or metal shrapnel to hit the driver because they may not inflate correctly.
It has been reported that Toyota has recalled approximately 580,000 North American vehicles and 490,000 European vehicles assembled between November 2000 and March 2004 (1.73 million total); Honda has recalled about 1.14 million vehicles; Nissan may recall 480,000 vehicles; and Mazda has recalled 45,463 cars.
Takata Corporation is the second largest global manufacturer of airbags. It first learned of the airbag issues in October 2011, but has not been able to figure out which cars were affected until now. Vice President of communications for Takata, Alby Berman explains how narrowing down how many vehicles house the faulty airbags is difficult because there have been so few incidents in the world thus far, but he states that, “[E]ven one (malfunctioning) airbag out there is a problem for our customer and for Takata.”
This is the largest recall for Takata since the 8 million vehicles equipped with defective seatbelts in 1995. And in 2011 when the first airbag malfunction was reported, the shares in Takata fell almost 10 percent in Tokyo trading. But Takata is working hard to fix the issue before anyone is hurt, because currently there have been zero injuries.
Takata is not the only company feeling the sting of the recall. Toyota is receiving most of the negative attention because it is involved in another recall. In late 2009, Toyota began the recall of nearly 19 million vehicles globally for the unintended acceleration issues. Though these airbags aren’t the fault of Toyota, the rebuilding of its reputation will certainly remain stagnant until this problem is resolved.
Whether you’ve experienced a faulty airbag, or have simply been injured by one during a car accident, contact one of our accident attorneys for legal consultation.