Nearly 40 million vehicles have been added to the existing Takata airbag recall and residents in Atlanta and surrounding areas should take particular notice. The ammonium nitrate deployment propellant in these airbags is prone to degrade in humid climates where temperatures vary. Once degraded, the force at which the airbags deploy can be intensified, allowing shrapnel to be scattered throughout the cab of the vehicle. This same problem was identified in airbags previously included in the recall – airbags linked to 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries in the United States.
Issuing a recall before injury has occurred is unusual, but a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) review of three independent analyses of the chemical contents of Takata airbags indicated that increased danger was only a matter of time. The process of degradation can take several years, but without a moisture absorbent component, it may be unavoidable. According to Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, this latest recall “is a significant step in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s aggressive oversight of Takata on behalf of drivers and passengers across America.”
Preemptive recalls may help save lives, but they are not failsafe against injury and death, nor do they shield negligent companies from liability when their products cause harm. The Atlanta defective airbag attorneys at Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance understand the serious damages these defective vehicle parts can cause and are here to help victims of injury get the compensation they are due.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed by a defective Takata airbag, please contact Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC online or by calling our Atlanta office at 404-760-7400 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights.