JUNE 19, 2015 UPDATE: HONDA CONFIRMS THE DEATH OF JEWEL BRANGMAN CAUSED BY DEFECTIVE TAKATA AIR BAG. READ THE LATEST DETAILS HERE.
Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is actively involved in investigating personal injury and wrongful death cases involving defective Takata air bags and has already filed a lawsuit involving the death of a young woman killed by fragments of a ruptured air bag.
On May 19, 2015, the Department of Transportation announced that Takata had admitted that some of its air bag inflators were defective and that the manufacturer had increased its recall of its air bag inflators to nearly 34 million vehicles nationwide. This is the largest automotive recall in United States history. Vehicles affected include those manufactured by BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. Details about the recall and the vehicles that are impacted can be found at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
Although the exact cause of the defect has not been determined, evidence suggests that the chemical propellant used to deploy the air bags may degrade over time under certain conditions. When the air bags later deploy, the degraded propellant causes excessive pressure that ruptures the air bags and results in metal shards being propelled at drivers and passengers. At least six deaths have been tied to the defective air bags and more than 130 injuries, including individuals who have been blinded by the ruptured bags and/or suffered serious lacerations to their face, neck and chest. There have also been reports that Takata has been aware of problems with its air bag inflators for more than a decade and refused to take corrective action or warn end users of their products.
On April 21, 2015, Panish Shea & Boyle LLP filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Takata, Honda and other defendants in connection with the death of 26-year-old Jewel Brangman who died following an otherwise survivable motor vehicle accident when the driver’s side air bag in her rental car defectively deployed causing a severe laceration to her neck and brain injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective Takata air bag, contact Panish Shea & Boyle LLP for a free consultation.