A massive recall has been declared from Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, and Honda. Approximately 3.4 million cars total are being recalled worldwide due to faulty airbags that can rupture when deployed. If in an accident, the airbag for the front passenger seat may not inflate correctly because of a defect in the propellant used in the airbag inflator. As a result, there is a risk of fires starting or of passengers being seriously injured or killed.
Toyota announced it was recalling 1.7 million cars, including some of its most popular models: Corolla, Matrix, and Tundra. Honda is recalling more than 1.1 million vehicles, citing that the faulty airbags put passenger’s safety at risk. Nissan has declared a recall for approximately 480,000 cars, and Mazda has recalled roughly 45,000 cars.
Toyota and Honda have both acknowledged that the defective airbags have been involved in a number of accidents.
According to CNN, the companies have acknowledged that “it is possible that the passenger front airbag inflators in affected vehicles may deploy with too much pressure, which may cause the inflator casing to rupture and could result in injury.”
All of the recalled vehicles are fitted with defective airbags supplied by Takata Corporation, a Japanese company.
This is not the first time that Takata airbags have been the reason for a recall. Between 2008 and 2011, Honda was forced to recall approximately 2.8 million vehicles after finding defects with driver-side airbags supplied by Takata.
Even scarier, Takata has reported that the defective and dangerous airbags were sold to other automobile manufactures as well, but, Takata refuses to release the names of those companies. As of now, only Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda have issued recalls. This means that some other car companies are allowing their cars to be driven on the road knowing consumer safety is at risk, as well as the safety of passengers in those vehicles. These consumers who are unaware their cars are fitted with the defective airbags have no idea one of the main protective safety features of their car is anything but safe.
As technology has increased, so have safety precautions in cars, namely airbag technology. Cars now have side-curtain airbags to protect those in the car from hitting their heads against the windows, as well airbags for back seat passengers. However, when those airbags are essentially useless because of manufacturer defects, the technological advances are worthless to consumer safety. In this case, the defect is actually more dangerous in that the airbags can actually cause fires, serious injury, and possibly death.
While the recall itself likely cannot be used against the company in litigation, it is important in recognizing the companies have acknowledged serious defects in their cars so that consumers can now know that they were injured because of a manufacturer defect, not some other reason. If you are injured in an accident while in one of these cars, it is important to look further into it and see if it had something to do with these wholly defective airbags.