Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Apr 18, 2016 in Product Liability
A Texas teen was killed on March 31 when a Takata airbag in her vehicle ruptured during a minor car accident. This recent death brings the total number of people killed by faulty Takata airbags to 11.
The 17-year-old victim was driving a 2002 Honda Civic on a state highway outside of Houston when she rear-ended the vehicle in front of her. According to the Sheriff’s office, the woman’s airbag ruptured in the accident causing a piece of metal to become lodged in her neck. She died at the scene of the accident, just minutes from her high school.
The lead investigator on the case stated that the victim was not speeding at the time of the accident and that this was the type of accident they see every day that everyone usually walks away from.
Defective Takata airbag inflators have been the subject of a massive safety recall involving nearly 24 million vehicles and 14 automakers. The ammonium nitrate propellant used in the inflators can become instable over time, causing them to explode with excessive force and sending shrapnel throughout the cabin of a vehicle.
According to Honda, the victim’s vehicle had been recalled a number of times since 2011. The victim’s family purchased the vehicle used five years ago and have stated that they never received a recall notice.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the vehicle was first recalled in 2011, and at least three times after that, to have the driver and passenger airbags replaced.
The slow pace of the national recall, along with difficulties notifying owners of used vehicles, has only increased the complexity and controversy surrounding the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. Regulators are calling for a much more aggressive approach to notifying owners about recalled vehicles.
Everyone is encouraged to check if their vehicle has been recalled by visiting www.safercar.gov. If your vehicle is included in the recall, you should have any necessary replacements done as soon as possible.
If you or someone you love has been injured or died as a result of a defective product such as this, do not hesitate to contact the product liability lawyers at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings to discuss your legal rights.