Fortune magazine calls the Takata airbag recall a “full blown crisis.” Newsweek said in November of 2017 that the recall was “going dangerously slow” and that millions of Americans are still driving potentially “lethal” vehicles. There is no shortage of media outlets claiming the largest recall in automotive history is not going well.
We say it the problem is getting worse! In January 2018 another 3.3 million cars and trucks equipped with Takata airbags were added to the recall list. That means the total number of cars and trucks with potentially deadly airbags is now 70 million!
But what about consumers? The readers of this blog are the folks most affected. What do they say?
To write this post we examined online comments made to Consumers Reports, PissedConsumer.com, Ripoff Report and social media. (We have communicated directly with hundreds of clients and potential clients, but lawyer confidentiality rules do not allow us to tell their stories. In this post we will visit some of the public comments shared on social media and online.
But first, how and why did we get involved in Takata airbag injury claims?
MahanyLaw Investigates Takata Airbag Injury and Death Claims
We first became interested in Takata airbag claims when several VW owners shared stories with us about the resale value of their cars. A car is a major financial investment for many families. VW owners were rocked by back-to-back scandals involving faulty emissions systems and Takata airbags. That one – two punch caused the resale value of their automobiles to plummet.
Ultimately, we along with our class action partners, filed a massive lawsuit against VW and Audi for knowingly using defective airbags in their automobiles. As late as 2017, the German automaker was still using defective Takata airbags in new vehicles. That class case has since been expanded to other makes and models of automobiles.
As we continued to investigate, we soon began hearing the tragic stories of gruesome and horrific deaths caused by defective Takata airbags. Instead of inflating the airbag and preventing injuries, the metal airbag canister sometimes exploded so violently that the metal canister became a grenade and sent razor sharp shrapnel into the face and head of both the driver and front seat passengers.
Sadly, some folks told us they either didn’t know they had a claim against the car maker and Takata, that their PI lawyer was more interested in a quick settlement or that they waited too long. We decided that there was a real need for lawyers with the knowledge of these airbag claims to step up and help airbag injury victims and their families.
Now that the class cases are underway, we are focused on the tragic Takata airbag injury and death claims. Officially 18 to 21 people are said to have died and a hundred more injured because of defective airbags. We say those numbers are too low. Unfortunately, police departments and insurance companies don’t track this data making estimates difficult.
If you were injured or if a loved one was killed because of a defective airbag, contact us immediately. To best pursue these cases, we always try to secure the defective airbag and the vehicle immediately after a crash.
Takata Airbag Injury Claims
If you or someone you love has been killed, disfigured or seriously injured in an accident involving a vehicle containing a recalled Takata airbag and you believe that those injuries were caused of a defect in the airbag, you have legal rights. Contact the Takata airbag injury lawyers at MahanyLaw today.
We can be reached online, by email () or by phone (414) 704-6731.
Okay, now you know how and why we are involved in these case… what are folks like you saying about Takata airbags?
Louise from Conroe TX says that she was notified two years ago that her Lincoln MKZ had Takata airbags. She has been waiting for replacement parts since 2016 and there is still no firm date when parts will become available.
(Regulators and the automakers both agree that people in hot and humid are at a much higher risk of explosive detonation. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration lists Texas as in the most dangerous zone.)
Another Texas Lincoln owner claims that his family has also been waiting. In his words, “Lincoln/Ford will not provide a loaner vehicle for the wait until the lifesaving parts are provided for their vehicle. Unacceptable. The responsibility is theirs. If you have paid for a product held to safety standards and it has been maintained as required.”
Jill from Carrollton TX says she has been waiting since July of 2016 for replacement airbags in her 2010 Ford Ranger pickup truck. Ford tells her that until replacements become available, she should not drive with a passenger in her two-seater truck. Jill says, however, that her truck is how she gets her 92-year-old mother to and from appointments. Ford has apparently not offered a replacement or loaner vehicle.
Linda from Elmira NY says that she was injured when the airbag in her Lexus exploded with such force that it broke her wrist and tore her rotator cuff. After years of therapy she remains permanently disabled and in pain.
Randy from Miami says that he received a letter from Ford saying that he shouldn’t have front seat passengers in his Ford Mustang. Unfortunately, as any Mustang owner will tell you the back seats in a Mustang are virtually uninhabitable.
Heather in Kentucky can’t trade her Audi in for a new car until the defective Takata airbags are replaced. Of course, no replacements are available. In her words, she is playing “Russian Roulette” by having to drive a car that she can’t trade in and that could kill her.
Delores says she spent a year’s salary on her first luxury car, a BMW. Now she is scared to drive it because it is subject to the airbag recall.
Another BMW owner says she is making monthly car payments for what is essentially a “death trap.”
There are literally hundreds of posts like this on social media. The public is furious and scared and rightfully so!
While a few of the car companies have provided loaners, many have not. And the prospect of a loaner for months or even years isn’t something to look forward to.
If you drive your car, you run the risk of dying or being maimed in a horrific crash. We have several videos on our Takata Airbag Injury Claims page but be forewarned, some of them are quite disturbing.
Our investigation to date suggests that Takata knew that they were having problems with their airbags shortly after the start of the new millennium. In fact, there is some damning evidence that they tried to hide testing data and simply pay off claims to avoid publicity. By 2008, the knowledge that Takata’s airbags were defective was pretty widespread.
Honda was the first company to recall airbags made by Takata. Unfortunately, the recalls were too late as several people had already been killed and scores more maimed.
There have been plenty of lawsuits against Takata. At the time of their bankruptcy in 2017, they owed more than a billion dollars. Folks injured because of defective airbags, or the next of kin for those that died, will get something. But how many pennies on the dollar will they receive from Takata?
Our approach is different. We are looking at all the deep pockets including the dealers and auto makers who we believe knowingly sold cars and trucks with defective airbags. Just maybe VW didn’t know that Takata airbags were defective in 2007 but why were they still putting Takata airbags in their cars in 2017?
We think the answer is easy – pure greed.
Our class cases are designed to make car owners whole. A few lucky car owners had their airbags replaced immediately but for others, they watched the resale value of their cars plummet while facing the inconvenience of not being able to drive their car (or driving in fear).
Now we are seeking the unfortunate folks who were severely injured (or had a loved one killed) in a car with a defective airbag.
My Airbag Exploded and I was Hurt – What Should I Do?
There are two things you should do immediately. Make sure the insurance company or car company preserves the car and the airbag. The second immediate step is to call an experienced airbag injury lawyer.
The time to sue for airbags injuries varies state by state. In some states you may just have 24 months. Even if you are within the time period to file a products liability or airbag injury lawsuit, not being able to recover both the defective airbag and the car makes the case tough.
With or without the airbag, the automakers will argue that:
- They didn’t know the Takata airbags were dangerous,
- The airbag wasn’t defective (it’s hard to prove without the car!), and / or
- You the driver / some other driver was the real cause of the injuries.
We understand products liability cases and partner with some of the best lawyers in the country to share our knowledge of airbag cases and hold all guilty parties responsible for your injuries.
Takata Airbag Injury? Don’t Call the Local Personal Injury Lawyer
Unfortunately, not many personal injury (PI) lawyers have the financial ability or experience to pursue complex products liability cases. This is especially true when witnesses may be anywhere in the world. Let me explain.
In the normal PI case, all the witnesses are local to the accident. Even if the other driver is from out-of-state, he or she can be dragged back to a courthouse near the scene of the wreck. But if the accident involves faulty airbags, the witnesses may be in Germany, Japan or almost anywhere in the United States. And the car companies are likely to play “dirty pool” to hide their secrets.
That is where we are different. We have pursued cases in 40 states and against some of the biggest companies in the world. We aren’t afraid of big corporations.
And when in the best interest of the client, we partner with other experienced firms and pool our knowledge of airbag injuries.
To learn more, visit our Takata Airbag Injury Lawsuit page. Ready to find out if you have a case? Contact us directly online, by email or by phone. The author of this post, principal attorney Brian Mahany, may be reached at (414) 704-6731 (direct).
MahanyLaw – America’s Takata Airbag Injury Lawyers
Our cornerstone content on the Takata airbag crisis, our Takata Airbag Injury Claims Center page is linked above. For a full listing of all of our Takata content, visit our Takata legal resources page.