The Takata airbag scandal grows ever more violent as it continues to claim more victims. Imagine you are sleeping in your house. You wake before dawn to a loud crash, and it is the last thing you ever know. The truck explosion in Quemado,Texas, is the latest in a series of nightmarish episodes that have occurred around the world and continue to occur with ever greater frequency as the defective airbags destabilize over time.
Some people have been killed, and others survived their injuries but with permanent emotional and physical scars. Some surviving victims of exploding Takata airbags are disfigured, and others suffer disabling injuries, while some are both disfigured and disabled.
And yet, as the defective airbags continue to mangle and kill, Takata is still manufacturing their deadly product and car manufacturers continue to use it.
Another Life Claimed by Takata With The Explosion of a Truck Transporting the Deadly Parts
Takata says it is continuing to use ammonium nitrate, the cheap but unstable explosive in the deadly airbags, but that it will phase out its use by the year 2018. The company is being forced to comply with a consent order issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, demanding Takata stop using the deadly explosive by 2018. In the meantime, we have another victim killed and four more injured as of August 22. Lucila Robles died after a truck transporting the deadly ammonium nitrate canisters exploded in front of her house. All that remained of her body was bones and teeth, found two days after the explosion in the rubble of her home.
According to an article in The New York Times, of the four surviving victims, two people were truckers who subcontracted to transport the explosive chemical along with airbag components in the truck which exploded. The other two injured victims of the latest explosion were driving down the road in their car when the truck exploded.
Investigators searched the surrounding area with metal detectors for more ammonium nitrate canisters. Takata sent officials to the Quemado public library to ask locals to be aware of the danger that there may be more explosive canisters around. Coincidentally, Quemado, the name of the town where the latest tragedy occurred, means burnt in Spanish.
Takata Transports the Explosive 2,000 Miles Across the United States Regularly
Takata transports the explosive chemical over 2,000 miles, from the plant where the company manufactures the propellant in Moses Lake, Washington, to their airbag factory in Monclova, Mexico. The company requires truckers who transport the hazardous chemical to wear protective gear, including fire resistant clothing, steel-toed boots with rubber soles, safety goggles and helmets. The truckers who survived the recent explosion were able to bail out in time, and the required safety gear likely saved them from dying.
Like Most Serious Problems We Have, It’s All About the Money
How many people have to be injured and killed before Takata is forced to stop using ammonium nitrate in its airbags right now? Like many social problems, Takata is not the only party at fault. If car manufacturers weren’t continuing to buy the explosive airbags, Takata wouldn’t still be manufacturing them. And the only reason Takata and the car manufacturers are continuing to use the deadly airbags is that they are allowed to do so by our government and government safety regulation agencies such as the NHTSA.
Car Manufacturers That Continue to Use Takata Airbags
Takata claims it has moved toward fixing the problem by including a drying agent in some newer airbags. The drying agent is supposed to keep moisture from destabilizing the ammonium nitrate in the airbag inflator. However, the drying agent has not been thoroughly tested yet, and we won’t know for years how well it works.
According to Mark Rosekind, a spokesman for the NHTSA, car manufacturers have legal standing to continue to sell new vehicles with the deadly airbags because the airbags will not detonate for a few years, and the cars can be recalled at that time. So, if you buy a new car, you could be buying a car with a deadly time bomb inside.
Here’s a list of car manufacturers who continue to use Takata airbags containing ammonium nitrate on some 2016 and/or 2017 models, with or without the drying agent:
- Fiat Chrysler
Can I Demand to Know If My New Vehicle Has a Takata Airbag Before I Purchase It?
According to a recent New York Times article, auto manufacturers have no obligation to disclose which of their models contain the defective airbags. You could demand to know whether your vehicle has a defective airbag, and if the dealer does not certify in writing that the vehicle does not use Takata airbags, you can shop somewhere else. However, it is very difficult to ascertain which cars do and which do not use the explosive airbags and your car dealer might not even know. Some 2015 and 2016 models have been recalled when the cars failed airbag safety tests.
What Can I Do to Avoid Being Injured or Killed by an Exploding Takata Airbag?
The first thing you should do is to check your Vehicle Identification Number at the NHTSA website, and if it has been recalled, bring it back to the dealer to have the airbag replaced.
If you drive a 2001-2003 model Honda or Acura, don’t drive your vehicle at all until you have the airbag replaced.
If your airbag has been recalled, get it fixed as soon as possible.
Check the website frequently to see if your vehicle has been added to the recall list.
If you receive an email or snail-mail notification to take your car in and have the airbag replaced, obey it without delay.
Don’t hesitate to get your airbag replaced if you have to drive an interim vehicle that is not as luxurious as your car that is being fixed. There’s a shortage of airbag replacements, and it is an emergency.
You could speak to an attorney about your situation later if you would like to recover damages for your wait and expenses having your airbag replaced.
Of the recalled Takata airbags that have been or are being replaced, many are replaced with defective airbags, which will have to be replaced again later.The problem is that Takata is such a huge supplier that millions of vehicles are affected, and there simply aren’t enough safer airbags available to replace the defective airbags in a timely manner. Government officials have prioritized which airbags must be replaced first, and which ones are not likely to explode yet.
Call Isaacs & Isaacs Takata Airbag Injury Attorneys for Help Now
If you or somebody you love is injured or killed by a deadly Takata airbag explosion, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury law firm at 800-800-8888, or fill out our form now to speak to an experienced and aggressive Takata airbag injury attorney without delay.
Isaacs & Isaacs has decades of experience in product liability cases, and we are passionate about making sure that people receive the maximum compensation they are entitled to when an unethical company injures and kills. We have a 99-percent success rate in recovering damages for our injured clients.
It won’t cost you anything to enlist our help. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis: if we don’t get you your money, we won’t get paid. Isaacs & Isaacs has recovered over $890 million in damages for victims in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.