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NHTSA Demands National Recall of Defective Takata Driver Side Air Bags

Posted by copeland on December 4, 2014

Automobile airbag location on a steering wheel

The public outcry over news that Japanese auto parts maker Takata knew of potentially deadly problems with its airbags installed in millions of cars on America's roadways is growing by the day. Now, the US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is demanding an expanded recall of the air bags, thus far blamed for at least 139 injuries and three deaths, including that of an Orlando woman.

Originally the recall affected some 7.8 million American-owned vehicles registered in the nation's hottest and most humid states and territories. But the agency's evaluation of a recent driver's side airbag in a vehicle outside the current regional recall has prompted officials to call for a nationwide recall, affecting many millions more cars, trucks and SUVs made by multiple manufacturers. Defective airbags have ruptured, sending shards of debris flying throughout vehicle cabins, causing stab-like injuries in drivers' face, neck and chest areas.

“By demanding this national recall, NHTSA has demonstrated once again that it will follow data and evidence to protect the lives of Americans on the road and to hold manufacturers accountable,” said US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

Safety officials also issued a General Order to Takata and each of the ten automakers that install Takata airbag inflators, requiring them to file detailed reports and provide all copies of all related documents concerning completed, ongoing or planned testing of Takata inflators outside the current regional recall areas. And, a Special Order issued to Takata compels the company to provide information and documentation on the propellant used in the airbag inflators - this after company officials publicly acknowledged a change in the chemical mix.

"We now know that millions of vehicles must be recalled to address defective Takata air bags and our aggressive investigation is far from over," NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman said. "We're pushing Takata and all affected manufacturers to issue the recall and to ensure the recalls capture the full scope of the problems."

If your vehicle is listed among those affected by the recall and you have not suffered related injuries, we urge you to visit your nearest automotive dealer for repair immediately. However, if you are injured by a ruptured Takata-made airbag, get medical attention immediately and contact a product liability attorney with Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates at 407-999-8995.