Over the past few years, millions of vehicles equipped with Takata airbags have been recalled across the United States as reports of injuries involving defective airbags have snowballed. Now, a government audit stringently criticizes the federal administration’s product recall procedures, specifically pointing out to the Takata airbag scandal as an example of the agency’s inefficiency.
The USDOT’s Office of the Inspector General clearly states that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lacks the kind of processes and oversight that is necessary to make sure that product recalls are completed, and keep consumers safe. The audit report specifically blames the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s monitoring process that is not designed to ensure that remedies are tracked in a timely and efficient manner. The federal agency also does not have a system in place to completely and accurately verify recall completion statistics, even though it is authorized to do so.
There has been a lot of criticism of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s tardiness in responding to the Takata airbag scandal, especially the manner in which the federal agency delayed recalling the Takata airbags, leading to motorists being placed at risk of injuries from these defective airbags. Several million vehicles in the United States are believed to be affected by the massive Takata airbag recall. For instance, Honda has recalled at least 5 million vehicles linked to the defective airbags. The defect lies in a malfunctioning inflator that might cause the airbag to be deployed with excessive force in the event of an accident. As a result, small shards of metal fragment could shoot into the faces of occupants, potentially injuring them seriously.
Some reports estimate that as many as 140 injuries are linked to the defective airbags. Additionally, at least 11 fatalities are linked to defective Takata airbags. At least two of those fatalities involved Honda vehicles. Takata was allegedly aware of the defective inflators at least in 2004, but failed to notify the federal administration of these facts.
When a product that is meant to keep you safe instead causes harm, the trauma and confusion that follows can be severe. When a defective product causes an injury, the product manufacturing company and other related companies including distribution companies, suppliers, and others may be liable for any damages caused as a result of the defect.
If your loved one has been injured as a result of a defective product, get in touch with an Indiana product liability attorney at Montross Miller and discuss your legal options for a claim for damages.