Toyota Recalls Millions More Vehicles with Faulty Takata Airbags
Toyota Motor Corporation has issued a vehicle defect recall for 5.8 million vehicles around the world. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, these vehicles are equipped with defective airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation. The airbags lack a drying agent to prevent the buildup of moisture, a flaw blamed for airbag explosions that spray shrapnel into vehicle compartments.
This is a deadly defect that has been linked to more than a dozen deaths, including one recent fatality in Southern California, and more than 100 injuries worldwide. Toyota’s recall includes millions of vehicles produced between April 2006 and December 2014.
Posing a Serious Risk
The faulty Takata airbags pose a bigger risk as they age. Takata airbags use ammonium nitrate in their inflators. This is a chemical, which is commonly used in fertilizers, which could become unstable with prolonged exposure to moisture and heat. Takata has been ramping up production of new airbags to help automakers meet recall requirements.
However, only a fraction of the recalled vehicles have been repaired. There are still millions of these unrepaired defective vehicles on our roadways. Particularly at risk are millions of people who own used cars that they bought at dealerships or auctions. These consumers have no idea that these vehicles had been recalled because they don’t get the recall notices automakers send out. Also, there are no laws requiring dealers to repair recalled cars before they sell them, even though doing so cost dealerships nothing. Automakers are required to fix recalled vehicles at no cost.
What to Do if You Own a Recalled Vehicle
First and foremost, visit safercar.gov and enter your vehicle identification number or VIN to make sure that your vehicle is part of the recall. If it is, take your vehicle to the dealership to make sure that the repairs are completed. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective auto, you may be able to file an auto product liabilityclaim against the automaker or the manufacturer of the defective part seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. It is important that victims and their families contact an auto defect law firm that has successfully investigated and won similar cases against large automakers.