Three former Takata executives have been formally accused of criminal wrongdoing regarding their handling of Takata’s defective airbags, according to Reuters.
Arrest warrants were issued for Shinichi Tanaka, Hideo Nakajima, and Tsuneo Chikaraishi, top Takata executives who allegedly falsified reports to convince automakers to buy their faulty Takata airbags.
Takata Airbag Recall Explained
Takata has become infamous for its airbag recall, which officially became the largest automotive recall in United States history this May. The Takata airbags come with a defective inflator and propellant devices that can shoot shrapnel-like fragments into driver and passengers when deployed.
The defective Takata airbags are responsible for the deaths of 16 people and the injuries of 184 more.
Takata issued its first airbag recall in 2008, affecting only 4,200 vehicles; today, the recall affects over 30 million vehicles in the United States alone.
The indictment claims that the Takata executives knew of the faulty inflators all the way back in 2000, eight years before the first recall. Takata pleaded guilty to concealing their airbags’ defects on Friday and will pay a $1 billion settlement to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
The NHTSA has recently demanded that car companies make replacing the nearly 69 million defective airbags their top priority. Even a minor fender bender can cause the airbags to rupture, launching metal shrapnel into drivers and passengers.
The NHTSA gave older vehicles in hot, humid climates top priority for airbag replacement since they are considered the most at risk for airbag explosion.
Brands Affected by Takata Airbag Recall
Initially, it was thought that only Honda vehicles were affected since all but one of the confirmed deaths in the U.S. were in Honda vehicles.
However, as of the end of 2016, all of the following brands have been included in the recall:
- Land Rover
Holding Takata Responsible for Defective Airbags
Product liability ensures that manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers are held responsible for any injuries their products cause that could have been avoided with better testing, oversight, management, or production.
If a company refuses to take responsibility, a personal injury lawyer can help victims receive the compensation they deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call Hensley Legal Group today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Whether it’s another driver or an airbag manufacturing company that needs to be held responsible for your injuries, Hensley Legal Group can help.