As automobile technology has increased, so have the safety features and regulations. Today, our cars are safer than ever. They come standard with features that keep us all better protected on the road, from antilock brakes to traction control. Some of the newest luxury cars come equipped with futuristic features like accident avoidance systems. We even have self-driving cars on the roads in isolated areas.
We trust these features with our lives daily. If tragedy strikes and an accident occurs, we rely on them to mitigate the damages we face. Would it surprise you if some of these features are causing deaths, not preventing them?
The Takata Recall
Many of you may be familiar with this story. It first reached national attention back in 2015. If you haven’t kept up on it, a lot has changed in just a few short years.
Takata was a Japan-based automotive parts company founded in 1933. I say was, because the company filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and is defunct as of this year after being acquired by a competitor. Takata was bought by Key Safety Systems (KSS). (As an interesting local side note, KSS was headquartered in Lakeland, FL from 1993 to 2003.)
In 2014, Takata held a 20 percent market share. How did they go from being an industry giant to defunct in four years? It might have something to do with the largest recall in U.S. history. Let’s look at some frightening facts:
- 37 million vehicles affected and under recall
- 50 million defective Takata airbags
- 19 different automakers with affected cars
- 22 reported deaths caused by recalled airbags so far
The numbers have only grown since the recall first began. It started in 2008 when Honda first issued a recall of 4,000 vehicles. In 2009, this number had grown to over half a million. By 2015, the number ballooned to 32 million airbags and spanned multiple car manufacturers. By 2018, we reached the current count of some 37 million vehicles.
Florida Residents, Have You Checked Your Car? You May Be At Risk
If you’re a Florida resident and you haven’t made sure your airbags are safe, you need to do so immediately. The problem with the recalled airbags is the inflator inside the airbag. In these Takata airbags, the inflator is a metal cartridge full of propellant. A faulty inflator can explode with deadly potential and shoot metal shards throughout the vehicle. It’s these explosions that have caused the death toll of 22 so far. So why is it extra important for Florida residents?
The airbags are most at risk in environments of high heat and high humidity. Does that sound like anywhere familiar to you? Florida is the perfect storm for these recalled airbags. Since the beginning of the recall, Florida has been in Zone A for recalls. This means that Florida has had top priority because of its climate.
While we hope all our Florida residents have taken care of this problem, it’s important that you make sure your airbag isn’t a recall. If it is, make sure it’s replaced today. As an all injury law firm serving the state of Florida, we know how critical it is that every safety measure is working to its full potential. I know that I was behind the wheel in an accident, I’d want to be sure my airbag was saving me, not injuring or potentially killing me.
Contact Brooks Law Group
If you or a loved one has been the victim of someone else’s negligence, call Brooks Law Group at (800) LAW-3030 today for a free consultation. Find out what sets us apart from the rest when you fill out our online form for a free case review. Our attorneys and staff “provide the best client experience possible” in every aspect of your case. Don’t wait another day, Brooks Law Group is here to help you today.