Takata Airbag Recall Prompts DOT Investigation of NHTSA
Tad Thomas, Esq.
As you may have heard already, the recall of nearly 8 million vehicles with Takata Corp. airbags is expected to be one of the largest recalls in history. Instead of inflating, Takata airbags explode, sending shrapnel and severely injuring–even killing–drivers. At least three deaths have been linked to the defect. Notably, the recall was limited to high-humidity regions for its suspected link to the defect, but lawmakers are urging a nationwide recall. Two of the deaths
were not in states included in the recall, and Takata is one of three airbag suppliers in the world.
Last month, I blogged about the suspicious relationship between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(“NHTSA”) and big car corporations. The NY Times found that the regulatory agency has buckled to the bullying of big auto corporations, in turn making it “slow to identify problems, tentative to act and reluctant to employ its full legal powers against companies.”
After the recent GM spectacle and now on the heels of the Takata crisis, it is no wonder that the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) will now review how NHTSA handles recalls. “The roll out of the safety advisory by NHTSA was not optimal, but what is most important right now is that a NHTSA-led investigation uncovered a very serious defect,” a DOT spokesperson told ABC News, adding, “This investigation is far from over and we will leave no stone unturned in the interest of public safety.”
While the multi-million auto recalls of the last year are a good sign that negligent manufacturers are being held
accountable, they are also a very real reminder of how often corporations choose profit over safety. The fight for responsible manufacturing and accountability is far from over. Thankfully, the DOT and attorneys are stepping into
the ring to expose and end the corruption.
If you are impacted by this recall, having your car examined and repaired immediately–no matter what region you live in. For information on what to do, take a look at Attorney Pamela Mullis’s blog.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a Takata airbag, consider reaching out to an attorney for help. You may want to explore legal options.