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Takata Airbag Recall

Does My Car Have Defective Takata Airbags?

NC Product Liability Attorneys Explain Takata Airbag Recall Lawsuits

Takata airbag lawsuit lawyersDefective airbags created by the Takata Corporation are responsible for the largest automotive recall in US history. In fact, the Takata airbag recall affects more than 42 million vehicles produced by 19 different automakers in the United States alone. This number may jump to 62 million by 2019, according to some projections. Takata airbags are dangerous because they contain inflators that deploy with excessive force. As a result, the metal canisters that house these inflators can rupture and send shrapnel flying into vehicle occupants. This can happen even during very minor collisions or with no impact at all. If a defective Takata airbag harmed you or a loved one, then you may be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit. Additionally, if your car contains a defective airbag, then you may be entitled to recover repair costs and possibly other damages by joining the ongoing multidistrict litigation.

Is your vehicle part of the Takata airbag recall? Check your VIN today.

Despite the enormity of this recall, filing a successful lawsuit against Takata and/or your automaker can still be difficult. Therefore, our law firm works with industry experts to prove the merits of product liability cases like this. At the law offices of Riddle & Brantley, our team of experienced auto defect attorneys has decades of experience helping injury victims throughout North Carolina. Our attorneys have offices in Raleigh, Goldsboro, Kinston as well as Jacksonville. If your vehicle has Takata airbags, then we can advise you of your legal options, whether you sustained injuries from a crash or not.

Why Do Takata Airbags Explode?

Takata airbag inflators use ammonium nitrate as a propellant, which inflates the device quickly in the event of a crash. However, ammonium nitrate can become unstable when exposed to high humidity and temperature fluctuations. This instability can cause the airbags to inflate without warning and at much higher speeds than normal. Additionally, product defects in the casing can cause the cover to fracture during inflation. The explosive force of the airbag can send these shards flying at occupants as shrapnel. This can cause severe lacerations to the face, neck and chest that may be fatal.

In the past, Takata has taken steps to try to correct these deadly airbag defects. After several reports of explosions, the company added calcium sulfate, a drying agent, to the propellant. This chemical was expected to help stabilize the ammonium nitrate and prevent explosions. However, airbag inflators continued to explode even after this addition. In 2008, Takata doubled its efforts and added zeolite, a stronger drying agent. However, this did not eliminate the risk of explosions.

Additionally, environmental conditions can also affect defective Takata airbags, increasing the risk of explosions. The longer one of these airbags is exposed to humidity and wear, the more likely it may be to rupture. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has warned that 2001-2003 Honda Civic and Acura vehicles have the greatest risk of rupturing, especially if owners live in hot, southern states. If you own one of these vehicles, then have it towed to the dealership for repairs as soon as possible.

Although replacement efforts are underway, starting with high-risk vehicles, as of June 2016, only 8.4 million airbags had been replaced. This still leaves tens of millions of vehicles on the road with deadly airbags.

Did Takata Hide Airbag Defects from the Public?

Before switching to the problematic ammonium nitrate, Takata used tetrazole as a propellant in its airbags. The company made the switch in 2001 because ammonium nitrate is cheaper than alternative propellants. Several years later, Takata began receiving reports of airbag inflator explosions. In 2004, the driver of a Honda Accord sustained serious injuries from an airbag explosion during a car crash. Still, Takata called the incident an anomaly. Five years later, another incident involving a Honda Accord led to a driver fatality due to lacerations from shrapnel.

According to regulatory filings and court records, Honda received reports of at least three more ruptures in 2007. However, the companies settled these cases confidentially with victims. In 2008, Honda issued a recall for a small number of the vehicles for defective airbags. Three years later, it confidentially submitted a death and injury tally to regulators. Beginning in 2014, many automakers began issuing similar product recalls for Takata airbags. Since then, the list of affected vehicles has continued to grow. The company and individual automakers now face thousands of lawsuits for Takata airbag injuries and defects.

In February 2017, Takata pled guilty to deceiving automakers about the safety of its airbags and paid an almost $1 billion fine. This includes $850 million in restitution to automakers and $125 million to the families of victims. In addition, Takata airbag lawsuits are still ongoing, and most have been consolidated into national multidistrict litigation. Due to the fines and lawsuits, Takata’s US subsidiary filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June of 2017.

Was Your Vehicle Recalled? Check Our List Below

Acura

  • CL: 2003
  • ILX: 2013 – 2016
  • ILX Hybrid: 2013 – 2014
  • MDX: 2003–2006
  • RDX: 2007 – 2016
  • RL: 2005 – 2012
  • TL: 2002–2003
  • TL: 2009 – 2014
  • TSX: 2009 – 2011
  • TSX Sportswagon: 2011
  • ZDX: 2010 – 2013

Audi

  • A3: 2005 – 2013
  • A4 : 2004 – 2008
  • A4 Cabrio: 2006 – 2009
  • A5 Cabrio: 2010 – 2011
  • A6: 2005 – 2011
  • Q5: 2009 – 2012

BMW

  • 128i: 2008 – 2013
  • 135i: 2008 – 2013
  • 1 Series M: 2008 – 2013
  • 323i: 2000
  • 325Ci: 2002 – 2006
  • 325iT: 2002 – 2003
  • 325i: 2001 – 2011
  • 325xi: 2001 – 2011
  • 325xiT: 2002 – 2003
  • 325xiT: 2006 – 2012
  • 328i: 2000
  • 328i: 2006 – 2013
  • 328xi: 2006 – 2013
  • 328i xDrive: 2006 – 2013
  • 330i: 2001 – 2011
  • 330xi: 2001 – 2011
  • 330Ci: 2002 – 2006
  • 335i: 2006 – 2013
  • 335xi: 2006 – 2013
  • 335i xDrive: 2006 – 2013
  • 335d: 2009 – 2011
  • 335is: 2007 – 2013
  • 525i: 2002 – 2003
  • 530i: 2002 – 2003
  • 540i: 2002 – 2003
  • M3: 2001 – 2013
  • M5: 2002 – 2003
  • X1 sDrive28i: 2013 – 2015
  • X1 xDrive28i: 2013 – 2015
  • X1 xDrive35i: 2013 – 2015
  • X3 xDrive30i: 2007 – 2010
  • X5: 2007 – 2011
  • X5 3.0i: 2003
  • X5 4.4i: 2003
  • X5 xDrive30i: 2007 – 2013
  • X5 xDrive35i: 2007 – 2013
  • X5 xDrive48i: 2007 – 2013
  • X5 xDrive50: 2007 – 2013
  • X5 M: 2007 – 2013
  • X5 xDrive35d: 2009 – 2013
  • X6: 2008 – 2011
  • X6 ActiveHybrid SAC: 2010 – 2011
  • X6 M: 2008 – 2014
  • X6 xDrive35i: 2008 – 2014
  • X6 xDrive50i: 2008 – 2014

Cadillac

  • Escalade: 2007 – 2011
  • Escalade ESV: 2007 – 2011
  • Escalade EXT: 2007 – 2011

Chevrolet

  • Avalanche: 2007 – 2011
  • Silverado 1500: 2007 – 2011
  • Silverado 2500: 2007 – 2011
  • Silverado 3500: 2007 – 2011
  • Suburban: 2007 – 2011
  • Tahoe: 2007 – 2011

Chrysler

  • Aspen: 2007–2009
  • Chrysler 300: 2005 – 2012
  • Chrysler 300C: 2005 – 2010
  • Crossfire: 2007 – 2008
  • SRT8: 2005 – 2010

Daimler Trucks and Vans

  • Sterling Bullet 4500: 2008 – 2009
  • Sterling Bullet 5500: 2008 – 2009
  • Dodge Sprinter 2500: 2007 – 2009
  • Dodge Sprinter 3500: 2007 – 2009
  • Freightliner Sprinter 2500: 2007 – 2014
  • Freightliner Sprinter 3500: 2007 – 2014
  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500: 2010 – 2014
  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500: 2010 – 2014

Dodge/Ram

  • Challenger: 2008 – 2012
  • Charger: 2006–2007
  • Dakota: 2005 – 2011
  • Durango: 2004 – 2009
  • Ram 1500: 2003 – 2008
  • Ram 2500: 2005 – 2009
  • Ram 3500: 2003 – 2010
  • Ram 4500: 2008 – 2010
  • Ram 5500: 2008 – 2010

Ford

  • Edge: 2007 – 2010
  • Fusion: 2006 – 2011
  • GT: 2005 – 2006
  • Mustang: 2005 – 2014
  • Ranger: 2004 – 2011

GMC

  • Sierra 1500: 2007 – 2011
  • Sierra 2500: 2007 – 2011
  • Sierra 3500: 2007 – 2011
  • Yukon: 2007 – 2011
  • Yukon XL: 2007 – 2011

Honda

  • Accord: 2001–2011
  • Accord Crosstour: 2010 – 2011
  • Civic: 2001 – 2011
  • Civic CNG: 2001 – 2004
  • Civic GX: 2006 -2011
  • Civic Hybrid: 2003 – 2011
  • CR-V: 2002 – 2011
  • CR-Z: 2011 – 2015
  • Element: 2003 – 2011
  • FCX Clarity: 2010 – 2014
  • Fit: 2009 – 2013
  • Fit EV: 2013 -2014
  • GL1800: 2006 – 2011
  • Insight: 2010 – 2014
  • Odyssey: 2002 – 2004
  • Pilot: 2003 – 2011
  • Ridgeline: 2006 – 2014

Infiniti

  • Infiniti FX35/FX45: 2003 – 2008
  • I30: 2001; 2003 – 2004
  • I35: 2002 – 2004
  • M35/M45: 2006 – 2010
  • QX4: 2002–2003

Jaguar

  • Jaguar XF: 2009 – 2011

Jeep

  • Wrangler: 2007 – 2012

Land Rover

  • Range Rover: 2007 – 2011

Lexus

  • ES350: 2007 – 2011
  • GX460: 2010 – 2011
  • IS 250: 2006 – 2011
  • IS 250C: 2010 – 2011
  • IS 350: 2006 – 2011
  • IS 350C: 2010 – 2011
  • IS F: 2008 – 2011
  • SC: 2002 – 20010

Lincoln

  • Lincoln MKX: 2007 – 2010
  • Lincoln MKZ: 2006 – 2011
  • Lincoln Zephyr: 2006 – 2011

Mazda

  • B-Series Truck: 2004 – 2006
  • CX-7 and CX-9: 2007 – 2011
  • Mazda 6: 2004 – 2011
  • Mazdaspeed 6: 2006 – 2007
  • MPV: 2004 – 2006
  • RX-8: 2004 – 2011

Mercedes-Benz

  • C230 Kompressor: 2005
  • C230: 2006 – 2007
  • C300: 2008 – 2011
  • C300 4Matic: 2008 – 2011
  • C320: 2005
  • C350: 2006 – 2011
  • C63: 2008 – 2011
  • C63 AMG: 2009 – 2011
  • E350 and E350 4Matic: 2010 – 2011
  • E350 Cabriolet: 2011
  • E550 and E550 4Matic: 2010 – 2011
  • E550 Cabriolet: 2011
  • E63 AMG: 2010 – 2011
  • GL320 BlueTec 4Matic: 2009 – 2010
  • GL350 BlueTec 4Matic: 2011 – 2012
  • GL450 4Matic and GL550 4Matic: 2009 – 2012
  • GLK350: 2010 – 2012
  • GLK350 4Matic: 2010 – 2012
  • ML320 BlueTec 4Matic: 2009 – 2010
  • ML350 and ML350 4Matic: 2009 – 2011
  • ML450 4Matic Hybrid: 2010 – 2011
  • ML550 4Matic: 2009 – 2011
  • ML63 AMG: 2009 – 2011
  • SLK55 AMG: 2007 – 2008
  • SLK280: 2007 – 2008
  • SLK350: 2007 – 2008
  • SLS: 2011
  • SLS AMG: 2011 – 2014
  • SLS AMG Cabriolet: 2012
  • SLS AMG GT: 2013 – 2014
  • R320 CDI 4Matic: 2009 – 2010
  • R350 4Matic: 2009 – 2012
  • R350 BlueTec 4Matic: 2011 – 2012

Mitsubishi

  • Lancer and Lancer Evolution: 2004 – 2007
  • Lancer Sportback: 2004
  • Raider: 2006 – 2009

Nissan

  • Maxima: 2001 – 2003
  • Pathfinder: 2002 – 2004
  • Sentra: 2002 – 2006
  • Versa: 2007 – 2011

Pontiac

  • Vibe: 2003 – 2010

Saab

  • 9-2X: 2005 – 2006
  • 9-3: 2006 – 2011
  • 9-5: 2006 – 2009
  • XB: 2008 – 2011

Saturn

  • Astra: 2008 – 2009

Scion

  • XB: 2008 – 2011

Subaru

  • Baja: 2003 – 2006
  • Forester: 2009 – 2011
  • Impreza: 2004; 2006 – 2011
  • Legacy and Outback: 2003 – 2011
  • Tribeca: 2006 – 2011

Toyota

  • 4Runner: 2010 – 2011
  • Corolla: 2003 – 2011
  • Corolla Matrix: 2003 – 2008
  • Toyota Matrix: 2009 – 2011
  • Rav4: 2004 – 2005
  • Sienna: 2011
  • Sequoia: 2002 – 2007
  • Tundra: 2003 – 2006
  • Yaris: 2006 – 2011

Volkswagen

  • CC: 2009-2014
  • Eos: 2012-2014
  • Golf and Jetta Sportwagen: 2010-2014
  • Passat: 2006-2010; 2012-2014

Can I File a Takata Airbag Lawsuit? Contact Our Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one sustained injuries due to Takata airbag defects, then you may be able to file an injury claim to recover compensation. Additionally, you may also have legal options if your vehicle contains these defective airbags. The product liability attorneys at Riddle & Brantley can advise you of your rights and may be able to help you join the ongoing Takata multidistrict litigation.

We offer free initial consultations and always work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not owe us any attorney fees unless we successfully recover compensation for you or your loved one. We have office locations in Raleigh, Goldsboro, Jacksonville and Kinston, for your convenience. Call us at (800) 525-7111 or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a free case review today.