Toyota Exploding Airbag Claim
Were you a passenger in a Toyota, Lexus, or Pontiac that was involved in a crash? Were you struck by metal fragments or shrapnel when the airbag exploded? Jason Turchin wants to help. Jason Turchin and his team of Florida products liability attorneys have experience representing clients who have been injured by defective airbags. Call us today at (800) 337-7755 to see how we can help you.
Before 2013, most car owners had never heard of Takata before. Today, however, the name should sound familiar to many. In 2013, what would become the largest automotive recall in US history would begin when Takata reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that its airbags were defective. The manufacturer’s mishandling of explosive propellants during assembly resulted in a defect. Over 50 million vehicles have already been recalled, but as many as 85,000,000 airbags are potentially defective.
According to the recall issued regarding affected Pontiacs, General Motors described the defect stating:
“The propellant in these inflators may degrade after prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity and fluctuating high temperatures. Degraded propellant can cause inflator rupture during airbag deployment. In the event of an inflator rupture, metal fragments could pass through the airbag cushion material, striking the vehicle occupants, and result in serious injury or death.”
To date, there have been at least 23 deaths caused by Takata airbags, and more than 300 injured by them.
If a passenger is struck by metal fragments or debris during an airbag explosion, he or she could be seriously hurt or even killed. Potential injuries include:
- Severe lacerations to the face, head, neck, and chest
- Blindness and eye trauma
- Ruptured arteries or veins
- Nerve damage
- Gunshot or stab like wounds
- Brain bleeding
Since the recall began in 2013, Toyota has recalled 2.3 million airbags. In December 2018, Toyota filed an information report with the NHTSA stating that discovered a population of an additional 169,481 vehicles that were still equipped with Takata airbags. The vehicles now known to have this defect include the following:
- Lexus SC 2002-2005
- Pontiac Vibe 2003-2007
- Toyota Corolla 2003-2005
- Toyota Sequoia 2002-2005
- Toyota Tundra 2003-2005
The plaintiff may be to establish Toyota’s liability in 3 ways:
- Strict Liability - The plaintiff need not show Toyota was negligent by using Takata airbags. Instead, she must only show that the airbags and the vehicle as a result were unsafe.
- Negligence - The plaintiff must show that the vehicle was manufactured, designed, or marketed in a way that was improper or rendered the vehicle unsafe. She must show that a reasonably prudent person in the same position as Toyota would not have built or distributed a car with defective airbags.
- Breach of Implied Warranty - This is based on the plaintiff’s reasonable expectations about the safety of the vehicle. In other words, the plaintiff would expect the airbags to function properly in the event of a crash. No reasonable person would enter a vehicle if they knew the airbags could kill or seriously injure them.
To hold Toyota liable for injuries under one of the aforementioned theories, the plaintiff may have to show that she was actually injured; that the defective airbags were the proximate cause of her injuries; that she was using the vehicle as per its intended use; and that Toyota knew or should have known that the airbags were defective, and failed to repair, replace, or adequately warn consumers about the defect.
If you were a passenger who was hurt by a Takata airbag explosion during a crash, don’t hesitate. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. Since the recall began in 2013, our team of products liability attorneys at the Law Offices of Jason Turchin have represented many victims of Takata airbags, and we can fight for your rights too. Call us today for your free consultation at (800) 337-7755 to find out more about how we can help you.