Airbag Defect, Deaths Lead to Recall Involving 4.7M Cars

By Paul Mitchell, Q.C.
Categories: Blog, Personal Injury

An airbag defect that’s blamed for at least four deaths has led the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a recall notice for more than 4.7 million vehicles.

The latest recall brings the total number of cars recalled because of the airbag issue to 12 million worldwide, reports The Washington Post.

The NHTSA is warning drivers of cars subject to the recall to bring them to dealerships immediately.

The airbags subject to the recall are made by Japan’s Takata Corporation. Problems with the airbags’ inflator mechanisms have been reported since 2004. The inflators can potentially explode, sending metal fragments flying into a vehicle’s passenger compartment causing serious or, in some cases, fatal injuries.

A 2013 recall for vehicles with defective airbags was followed by more recalls earlier this year. In addition, NHTSA issued a “regional recall” for vehicles in high-humidity states such as Florida and Hawaii, as the airbag problem was believed to be related to humidity. The most recent recall, however, includes vehicles nationwide.

See the Recall notice here:  recall notice for more than 4.7 million vehicles.

The vehicles subject to the most recent Takata airbags recall include both domestic and import vehicles. Among the vehicles affected by the recall are:

  • More than 778,000 Toyota vehicles including the Lexus SC and Toyota Tundra pickups;
  • More than 2.8 million Honda vehicles including the Civic, Accord, CR-V, and Acura MDX;
  • More than 430,000 Nissan vehicles including the Maxima and Infiniti QX4;
  • More than 18,000 Mazda vehicles including the Mazda6 and RX-8;
  • More than 570,000 BMW vehicles including 3-series sedans, coupes, and wagons as well as M3 convertibles and coupes; and
  • More than 133,000 General Motors vehicles including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac models.

To determine whether your vehicle is included in this recall or any other recall, you can search by VIN number using the NHTSA’s new online recall search tool.

As The New York Times reported earlier this year, Takata has agreed to undisclosed settlements in several death and injury claims linked to exploding airbags. If you or a loved one have been hurt by a defective airbag, an experienced motor vehicle defects lawyer can help you figure out the best way to proceed.

Takata Air Bag Recalls: Affected Vehicles

This list of affected vehicles was compiled from information automakers provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Some of the recalls are region-specific, and not all cars in a make or model year are affected, so drivers are advised to contact their dealers for more information.

Manufacturer Model and Year
BMW 3-Series 2000-6
Chrysler 300 2005-8; Aspen 2007-8; Dakota 2005-8; Dodge Ram Pickup 2003-8; Durango 2004-8; Mitsubishi Raider 2006-7
Ford GT 2005-6; Mustang 2005-7; Ranger 2004
Honda Accord 2001-7; Acura CL 2002-3; Acura 3.2CL 2003; Acura MDX 2003-6; Acura RL 2005; Acura TL 2002-3; Acura 3.2TL 2002-3; Civic 2001-5; Civic Hybrid 2003; CR-V 2002-6; Element 2003-11; Odyssey 2002-4; Pilot 2003-7; Ridgeline 2006
Mazda Mazda6 2006; Mazda7 2007; MPV 2004; RX8 2004-8; Speed6 2006; Speed7 2007
Mitsubishi Lancer 2004-5
Nissan Infiniti FX 2003; Infiniti FX 35 2003-5; Infiniti FX 45 2003-5; Infiniti I30 2001-3; Infiniti I35 2001-3; Infiniti M35 2006; Infiniti M45 2006; Infiniti QX4 2002-3; Maxima 2001-3; Pathfinder 2001-3; Sentra 2002-6
Pontiac Vibe 2003-4
Subaru Baja 2003-4; Impreza 2004-5; Legacy 2003-4; Outback 2003-4
Toyota Corolla 2002-5; Corolla Matrix 2002-5; Lexus SC 2002-4; Lexus SC430 2002-5; Sequoia 2002-5; Tundra 2002-5

A shortage of replacement parts has meant that many drivers who scrambled to take heed of that advice face wait times of months or longer.

Toyota has said it could disable passenger-side airbags in affected cars for which parts were not available, and instruct owners not to use that seat.

Toyota defended its policy of deactivating airbags: “If a replacement part is temporarily unavailable at the time of repair, we view disabling the front passenger airbag as a temporary measure that prioritizes customer safety. We also advise that customers not occupy the front passenger seat until the replacement inflator is installed and the airbag is fully functional,” Cindy Knight, a spokeswoman for Toyota, said in an email.

“To date, we have seen increasing supplies of replacement inflators and continue to work with Takata to expedite delivery of Toyota part allocations,” Ms. Knight said.

As The New York Times reported earlier this year, Takata has agreed to undisclosed settlements in several death and injury claims linked to exploding airbags.

Paul Mitchell, Q.C.is a BC personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience with severe injury claims, including product liability claims .For more information on this article, or for a confidential discussion of your claim, contact Paul Mitchell, Q.C. at 250-869-1115 (direct line), or send him a confidential email at mitchell@pushormitchell.com