The Takata airbag recall is the largest in history and only continues to grow with each passing year. The Takata recall began in April of 2013, and more vehicles have been added to the recall list with each passing year. Included in the recall are Takata airbags produced from the late ’90s up until the recall began.
The problem with the airbags is their inflator, which is a metal cartridge loaded with propellant wafers. In some cases, during a crash, these wafers would ignite and explode, causing the housing to rupture and propelling metal forth during deployment of the airbags.
Large Scope of the Recall
Takata began manufacturing airbags in 1988, and by the time the recall began, the Takata Corporation was one of the largest producers of airbags worldwide, accounting for approximately 20% of the market. Unlike many other automobile products that are solely used in vehicles of a single manufacturer or only a handful of manufacturers, Takata airbags can be found in vehicles produced by dozens of car companies.
Dangers in Protection
Recalls are particularly disturbing when the items being recalled due to their dangers are the very items meant to protect us. The whole reason for having airbags in your car is to protect yourself in case of a crash. It is unsettling to worry that the airbag that is there to keep you safe is the very thing that could end up causing harm and potentially killing you.
The fact that these airbags were in use for over 15 years before the recall began leads to questions about the standards of safety used in testing. It also brings up questions about how long the company was aware of the problem before issuing a recall.
There have been multiple lawsuits filed against the Takata Corporation, alleging that the company knew about the problem with their product for a decade without notifying the public. The lawsuits claim that after performing secret tests that revealed the flaw in the airbags, rather than alert federal safety regulators about the dangers, Takata instead deleted the test data.
Takata Corporation Bankruptcy
Due to owing more in compensation than the company could survive, the Takata Corporation filed for bankruptcy in the United States and Japan on June 25th, 2017. The remaining assets were acquired by Takata competitor Key Safety Systems for approximately $1.6 billion.
If you or a loved one was injured due to defective Takata airbags you will most likely be looking for financial compensation to cover your medical costs and pain and suffering. You will probably be wondering what your options are for restitution now that the Takata Corporation is no longer in existence. The good news is that there are several potential avenues you can take in pursuit of financial compensation.
Individual Restitution Fund
The Individual Restitution Fund (IRF) was set up to compensate individuals injured by Takata airbags. The fund was created following the criminal case of United States vs. Takata Corporation. The resolution of the lawsuit required the Takata Corporation to pay $125 million to be used to pay victims of Takata airbags for damages.
Takata Airbag Tort Compensation Fund
The Takata Airbag Tort Compensation Fund (TATCTF) is a separate fund that was created during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. The fund serves the same purpose as the IRF of compensating individuals harmed by Takata airbags.
Alternate Compensation Options
Another route to financial compensation, aside from filing a claim with either of the aforementioned funds, is to join a class-action lawsuit against one of the auto-manufacturers that used Takata airbags in their vehicles.
With all of these different options, it can be difficult to know what path is best for you. If you were hurt by Takata airbags and are looking for financial restitution, visit https://www.newsomelaw.com/ to find product liability lawyers who can best advise you on what road to compensation you should pursue.
When it comes to a serious injury or the death of a loved one, it’s important to receive a fair payout. You will need money to cover your associated medical costs and help with your pain and suffering.