NHTSA says Takata airbags linked to 11th U.S. death; nearly 70 million vehicles recalled

by Charles Miller

An 11th driver in the U.S. was killed last week in an accident involving a Takata airbag, U.S. authorities have confirmed. Takata and automakers who used the company’s airbags have recalled nearly 70 million vehicles due to a risk of accidental explosions linked to Takata airbags.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the most recent victim was a 50 year old woman who died after being involved in a head on collision while driving her 2001 Honda Civic near Riverside County, California. The agency said that the Takata airbag in the woman’s vehicle failed to deploy correctly in the crash.

NHSTA officials said that the woman’s vehicle had been recalled in 2008, but that repairs on the airbags in her vehicle were never completed. The 2001 Honda Civic was among the vehicles with a Takata airbag which the NHTSA stated in June of this year that vehicle owners should stop driving immediately. The agency said that the risk of an accidental airbag explosion with these cars was too significant for the vehicles to be operated safely.

Takata has recalled more than 100 vehicles worldwide – including about 70 million in the U.S. – due to potentially fatal defects with airbags sold by the company. Due to a volatile chemical used by Takata to inflate the airbags in the event of a crash, the recalled airbags can inflate with too much force. This can send metal shrapnel flying from the airbag, which can cause serious or fatal injuries to drivers and passengers. The Takata airbag problem was the largest automotive recall of all-time, covering about one in seven cars in the U.S.

In June of this year, the NHTSA urged the owners of about 313,000 Honda and Acura models to stop driving their cars immediately because the risk of an accidental airbag explosion was so great. Vehicles involved in this urgent warning included the 2003 Acura CL, the 2002-2003 Acura TL, the 2001-2002 Honda Accord, the 2001-2002 Honda Civic, the 2002 Honda CR-V, the 2002 Honda Odyssey, and the 2003 Honda Pilot.

According to the NHTSA, the risk of an accidental explosion in the event of a crash for vehicles listed in the agency’s urgent warning was about 50%. Despite the NHTSA warning, the agency says that about 300,000 of the vehicles still have not been repaired.

The NHTSA says that despite its warnings about the potential dangers of vehicles with Takata airbags, millions of these vehicles are still on the road. The agency says that right now, there are not enough replacement airbags to fix all of the recalled vehicles until at least 2019. The NHTSA also says that despite the Takata airbag recall, vehicles are still being manufactured and sold in the U.S. using the potentially defective airbag parts.

Injured by a Takata Airbag Explosion? You Have Legal Rights.

If you purchased or leased a vehicle equipped with a Takata airbag, or if you or a loved one has been injured due to an accidental airbag explosion, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Takata or the manufacturer of the vehicle. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an experienced product liability attorney to advise you of your legal rights.

In addition to the Acura and Honda models listed in the NHTSA’s urgent recall this summer, tens of millions of other vehicles that were made with a Takata airbag have been recalled in the U.S. The recalled vehicles include cars sold by Acura, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Honda, GMC, Infiniti, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen. A list of the recalled models with Takata airbags is available on our website.

For a free legal consultation and to find out whether you may qualify to file a Takata airbag lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions to get started.


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.