NHTSA Warns More Vehicles May Have Takata’s Defective Airbags

AirbagsIn what was already the largest automotive recall in U.S. history, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced in September that it has asked seven additional automakers to disclose whether their vehicles were installed with faulty Takata airbags. If so, that would bring the total number of makes with Takata’s defective airbags to 24, and likely cause the total number of individual vehicle recalls to expand significantly from the record 34 million previously announced in May.

As NHTSA stated in its letters to the new manufacturers, “It is expected that the scope of the current Takata recalls may expand as time goes on and will likely grow to include vehicles that are outside the scope of the current recalls.”

Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Volkswagen and Others Receive Inquiries from NHTSA

Currently, dozens of models from 17 different makes are subject to the recall. You can check with the NHTSA to see if your vehicle is included. The manufacturers that currently have vehicles subject to the recall are: Acura, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Subaru, and Toyota.

See a list of vehicles subject to the Takata airbag recall.

The automakers who received letters from the NHTSA in September are:

  • Jaguar-Land Rover
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Spartan Motors
  • Suzuki
  • Tesla
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo Trucks

According to news reports, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar-Land Rover, and Tesla have all responded stating that the airbags they use are not the models subject to the recall. Volkswagen was already working with the NHTSA after a crash involving a Tiguan SUV earlier in the year left evidence consistent with an exploding airbag.

Your Rights if You Are Injured by a Defective Product

In most car accidents, in order to receive financial compensation for your injuries, you need to be able to prove that someone else was negligent in causing your injuries. This “negligence” standard is the hallmark of any case involving a distracted driver, drunk driver, or trucking company that hired a driver without a license.

If you have been injured by a defective product, the negligence standard doesn’t apply. Instead, your case will be governed by the rule of “strict liability.” Under strict liability, if you meet certain requirements and can prove that (i) the product is defective, (ii) you were using the product as it was intended to be used, and (iii) the defect caused your injuries, you will typically be entitled to compensation.

To help prove that you were injured by a defective product, two of the most important things you can do are to:

  • Take photos of the accident, and
  • Seek emergency medical attention for your injuries.

For example, with Takata’s defective airbags, victims have been suffering injuries consistent with gunshot wounds, stabs, and damage from flying projectiles. So, if you are physically able, you should take photos of your injuries, the deployed airbag, and any damage to the inside of your vehicle. You should also be sure to tell your doctor how you got injured so that he or she can provide an accurate diagnosis. Recovering compensation for a defective product claim isn’t easy, and your photos and medical records can be invaluable evidence when negotiating a settlement or proving your losses at trial.

Contact Attorney John J. Sheehan about Your Massachusetts Auto Accident Claim

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a Massachusetts auto accident, the attorneys at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan can help you fight for just compensation. We have recovered millions of dollars for accident victims, and we rely on decades of experience to win the largest possible settlements and verdicts for our clients. To speak with an attorney about your case, call our Boston offices at 877-762-9510 or request a free consultation online today.