Fri 6th May | 2016

The Nation’s Largest Airbag Recall Just Got Bigger

Auto Accidents & News Auto Defect Auto News & Recalls Product liability Product Recalls BY

Takata airbags, the largest automotive recall in American history, just ballooned by 35 million.

In 2008, Takata insisted that the recall of 4,000 of its airbags were due to manufacturing mistakes. Over time, it became clear that the airbag problems were systemic – something inherent in the airbag design that couldn’t be solved by tightening up quality control.

Last year, the Takata airbags became the largest recall in automotive history with approximately 24 million in the United States alone. This week, regulators announced that this will more than double, bringing the total of recalled Takata airbags to at least 63 million. That’s one out of every four vehicles on the road.

What’s wrong with Takata airbags?

The issue at the root of the Takata recalls is the catastrophic airbag deployment of the airbags wherein shrapnel is fired at the driver or passenger of the vehicle. Additionally, the airbags may deploy without warning.

According to reports and the Clark Fountain firm’s own investigation relating to their catastrophically injured clients, the exploding airbags send shrapnel flying through the vehicle. The explosions have been linked to at least 11 deaths and numerous personal injuries. The Clark Fountain firm has handled multiple catastrophic injury cases involving the defective Takata airbags with exploding shrapnel.

Honda, the manufacturer most affected by these recalls, recently conducted a rupture that prompted three separate investigations. The findings of those investigations is what prompted the expansion of the recalls by 35 to 40 million. Regulators admit that there is a possibility this recall could continue to grow, reaching more than 100 million.

Takata Air Bag Recall Timeline

Takata has been in hot water for its airbag issues for nearly eight years.

  • 2008 – Honda recalls 4,000 of its vehicles over faulty Takata airbag inflators
  • 2009 – The first reported deaths associated with an exploding Takata airbag
  • 2010- 2011 – Honda adds even more vehicles to its recall
  • 2013 – Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda join the recalls over Takata airbags, adding 3.4 million vehicles globally to the list. BMW joined later that year, and another person was reportedly killed by an exploding airbag.
  • 2014 – The NHTSA commences a probe into Takata airbag explosions. Millions more vehicles of various manufacturers are added to the list of recalls. More deaths were reported in association with the airbags, and the first case seeking class action status against Takata was filed.
  • 2015 – More deaths linked to Takata airbags. By May, Takata’s total global airbag recalls had ballooned to more than 31 million.

Visit Reuters or Car and Driver for more recall timeline information.