Defective airbags made by Takata have made car accidents in St. Joseph and throughout the country far more dangerous than they should be. However, despite the nationwide recall, the situation is still not resolved. This is because the recall is “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history,” and has encountered numerous difficulties that have slowed it down.
Here are the problems that have prevented this important recall from going smoothly, and dragged out this products liability situation for years.
Takata Airbags Used in Numerous Car Models
Before Takata started making their airbags, there were numerous companies in the market. Each one made airbags for a small set of car manufacturers.
Then Takata came up with a newer, cheaper way of making airbags. When these other companies couldn’t match Takata’s price, car manufacturers across the industry switched to Takata to save money.
The result was a huge change in the market. Suddenly, one airbag manufacturer – Takata – was putting their airbags into vehicles made by not just one or two car builders. Instead, they were providing airbags for 19 automakers.
The sheer size of the recall has been one of its problems. With 42 million vehicles potentially affected, car owners have to take steps of their own to find out if their car is under the recall. Worse, replacement parts ran out quickly. Because the defects in the airbags have been tied to humidity, the recall has prioritized cars in humid areas, like Hawaii and Florida. However, cars move around, so it has not always been easy to figure out which cars need to be fixed first.
Replacement Parts Also Defective
The recall process took a step backwards when Takata discovered that some of the replacement parts – already in short supply – were themselves defective. This meant that more than 400,000 of the 4 million replacement inflators needed to be replaced, all over again, further delaying the recall process.
Takata’s Cover Up Delayed Fix
The recall itself, however, could have started much sooner if Takata had not covered up evidence of the defect. The company has been indicted for concealing evidence that their airbags were dangerous. Prosecutors claim that they started covering up the problems as early as 2000, a whole 13 years before Takata announced the defect.
St. Joseph Car Accident and Products Liability Attorneys
Of course, throughout this entire process, drivers have little choice but to continue to use their cars, despite the risk. Not everyone is financially stable enough to simply buy another vehicle, and rental agreements offered by some dealerships have been hit-or-miss. As a result, many drivers throughout Missouri are at continued risk of a catastrophic personal injury from the defect.
This is why the personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph work tirelessly to represent those who’ve been hurt by Takata airbags. If you or someone you love has been in an accident caused by one of these defective airbags, contact our law office online or at (816) 875-9373. We will provide the legal representation that you need to get the compensation that you deserve.