2.7 Million Vehicles Added to Air Bag Recall

September 5th, 2017 by Wapner Newman

PA Airbag Injury Lawyer

It started nine years ago, with 4,000 Hondas. By August 2017, at least 42 million vehicles in the United States from at least 19 automakers had been recalled, due to a potentially deadly defect in Takata air bag inflators.

The latest addition came in July, as Takata announced a recall of roughly 2.7 million Ford, Nissan, and Mazda vehicles. The air bags in those cars are of a different type than those in the initial recall, but they still pose a risk of exploding without warning.

The recall alone is cause for concern. But what’s more troubling is that some cars that have already been repaired, including 25,000 Hondas in Australia, have been recalled a second time, because the replacement parts were faulty, too. And as of June, more than 65 percent of recalled U.S. cars had not been repaired.

Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the sheer volume of the recall, so millions of drivers have yet to receive recall notices. Many of those who have received recall notices have learned that there are no replacement parts available.

As of December 2016, Takata air bag inflators had caused 11 deaths and 184 injuries. So while the risk of injury and death is statistically small, considering the scope of the recall, there are still millions of drivers who face that risk every time they get in their vehicles.

Manufacturers and Recall Completion Rates

Consumers should visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration website to determine whether the recall applies to their vehicle. Many manufacturers have recalled multiple makes and models for repair of faulty air bag inflators.

Cars have been recalled for both driver’s side and passenger’s side air bag inflator repair. As of August 4:

  • 47.8 percent of driver’s side air bags had been repaired.
  • 38.3 percent of passenger’s side air bags had been repaired.
  • 42. 3 percent – 17,777,555 air bags, in total – had been repaired.

The NHTSA says there may be some lag time between when repairs are completed and when that information is reflected on its website. Manufacturers that only recently recalled vehicles have much lower completion rates than those that were part of earlier recalls. Mercedes-Benz, which issued a recall in May 2016, has completed only 2.02 percent of air bag repairs. Honda has repaired 61.36 percent of faulty air bag inflators.

Critical Threat

Most air bag-related injuries have occurred in Hondas and Acuras, and the NHTSA has issued an urgent warning that drivers of the following vehicles are in danger, if their air bag inflators have not been repaired:

  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Acura CL
  • 2003 Honda Pilot.

Honda dealerships have replacement parts for all of those vehicles.

Manufacturer Accountability

In February, Takata admitted that it deceived automakers about the safety of its air bags. The U.S. also indicted three Takata executives for manipulating and hiding data that showed the air bags were dangerous – a practice that began around 17 years ago. Even after receiving reports of the air bags’ malfunctioning in cars, the Takata executives continued to mislead automakers and regulators.

If you have suffered an air bag-related injury, the attorneys at Wapner Newman may be able to help. For almost 40 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless personal injury victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We offer risk-free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means that we do not require you to pay any fees until we have secured a recovery on your behalf. We encourage you to contact us today by calling 1-800-LAW-6600 or filling out a free case evaluation form.