Exploding Takata Airbag Results in New Lawsuit Against Mercedes
The name “Takata” is now synonymous with the exploding airbags that have a death total of nearly 30 people and counting. The issue was related to the inflator which used a chemical explosion to inflate the airbag rapidly. However, the chemicals could degrade, especially in certain climates. This could result in the explosion being too forceful, exploding in the face of the driver, and throwing shrapnel. The result was nearly 30 dead and many more injured.
While the majority of Takata airbags have been recalled by now, some still exist. In these cases, the recalled vehicle never had the airbag replaced or in some cases, there is a question concerning whether or not the airbag had the fatal flaw that could cost someone their life.
The latest case involves a lawsuit filed by two individuals who were occupying the same car. They say that a Takata airbag exploded throwing shrapnel into their faces. While both survived the explosion, they will likely have scarring at the very least.
Where is Takata Now?
Takata was heavily sanctioned for settling a number of cases under seal, allowing dangerous and defective products to continue to be distributed into the stream of commerce, and for failing to warn prospective buyers about the dangers inherent in their airbags.
In other words, it would have cost Takata more money to initiate the recall than they figured it would to settle a handful of lawsuits related to their airbags. Of course, what ended up happening was that attorneys for the plaintiffs in these cases found out that Takata knew about the defect while they were still providing airbags to auto manufacturers. The resulting lawsuits hit Takata with a multi-billion dollar settlement that essentially drove Takata into the ground. The company was sent into bankruptcy. Now, all that remains of Takata is a trust to pay out claims related to their defective airbags.
The Case Against Daimler/Mercedes
Thus far, none of Daimler AG’s vehicles have had a Takata airbag problem. There is some question as to whether or not Takata made an upgrade to the chemicals that prevented the degradation of the chemicals that caused the explosion. Ford recently announced a recall of nearly 1 million vehicles related to Takata airbags. Ford argued that the airbags did not have the dangerous defect. However, the U.S. government forced Ford to initiate the recall on the basis that Takata’s word could not be trusted in this matter.
The problem for Mercedes is that they’ve told their customers for years that there was virtually no chance that their airbags would explode despite the fact that they were engineered by Takata. Now, an airbag has exploded. Mercedes will likely claim that they initiated the recall years earlier and the customer never bothered to fix the airbag.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured by an exploding airbag or any other defective safety feature on a vehicle, call the Miami personal injury lawyers at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.