Class action lawsuit filed against Honda over injuries, deaths from defective Takata airbags

by Charles Miller

A proposed class action lawsuit against Honda alleges that faulty airbags manufactured by the Takata Corporation have led to serious injuries and death among drivers and passengers. The proposed class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of all persons who purchased or leased a Honda vehicle that contained airbags manufactured by Takata.

Airbags, seatbelt usage, and other car safety improvements have made a huge difference. The number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents each year in the United States is nearly half of what it was in 1966. Every day, we all expect that our airbags, seatbelts, and safety features will function as promised and as intended.

The proposed class action filed against both Honda and Takata Corporation alleges the companies put profits ahead of safety: “Takata cut corners to build cheaper airbags, and Honda bought its airbags from Takata to save money.” “The result is that instead of saving lives, faulty Takata air bags in Honda automobiles are killing and maiming drivers and passengers involved in otherwise minor and survivable accidents,” the lawsuit alleges.

To be effective, airbags must inflate rapidly during an automobile collision. Airbag systems use small explosive charges to immediately inflate the airbags upon being triggered. According to the lawsuit, it is an “admitted fact that Takata’s explosive charge components in its airbag systems were defectively manufactured since as early as 2001, and perhaps earlier.” The complaint alleges that “the defective Takata airbag inflators quite literally blew up like hand-grenades, sending lethal metal and plastic shrapnel into the vehicle cockpit and into the bodies of the drivers and passengers.” Furthermore, Takata and Honda knew of the deadly airbag defect at least 13 years ago but did nothing to prevent ongoing injury and loss of life, according to the lawsuit.

According to Archer’s complaint, the case includes vehicles from the following model years:

  • Acura MDX, 2003-2006
  • Acura RL,2005
  • Acura TL/CL, 2002-2003
  • Honda Accord, 2001-2007
  • Honda Civic, 2001-2005
  • Honda CR-V, 2002-2006
  • Honda Element, 2003-2011
  • Honda Odyssey, 2002-2004
  • Honda Pilot, 2003-2007
  • Honda Ridgeline, 2006





Other vehicles may also become involved in the proposed class action.

Crashworthiness Litigation at Heygood, Orr & Pearson

Car and truck manufacturers know that any vehicle they make can be involved in a collision. Thus, a car manufacturer’s duty to design a vehicle that is reasonably safe for all reasonably foreseeable uses includes a duty to design a vehicle that is reasonably safe when a collision occurs. The extent to which a car or truck has been designed to protect the occupants in a collision is called “vehicle crashworthiness.

“Crashworthiness” refers broadly to many aspects of a vehicle (e.g., seat belts, crumple zones and airbags) that are intended to minimize occupant injuries, prevent ejection from the vehicle, and reduce the risk of fire. The cause of the “first collision”—a speeding driver, a driver not paying attention, a drunk driver, a driver running a red light, etc.— is generally considered irrelevant in crashworthiness cases. Instead, a crashworthiness case focuses on whether the vehicle manufacturer is responsible a problem with the car or truck that either caused or made worse the injuries suffered in the accident.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident, it may well be that the injuries were caused or made worse because the vehicle was not sufficiently crashworthy.

Contact our law firm for your free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal right to compensation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out a free legal consultation form.


Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Results of other cases do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

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by Charles Miller

Charles Miller is a licensed attorney and a partner at Heygood, Orr & Pearson. Charles focuses his practice on areas of complex commercial litigation and personal injury litigation.