Takata airbags have made their way onto the front pages of major newspapers for more than a decade for an infamous reason. That is, some airbags with defective inflators, which may be on vehicles from many manufacturers, have caused serious injuries and deaths around the globe.
While many victims of defective Takata airbags are eligible for compensation from a special fund, faulty inflators continue to kill drivers.
The Takata recall
Some Takata airbags have inflators that degrade over time. Regrettably, this degradation may cause the airbags to explode, potentially launching sharp shrapnel into vehicles. In 2018, Takata announced a recall of vehicles with defective airbags.
The Takata fund
Because defective airbags have caused catastrophic injuries and fatalities, plaintiffs brought a class-action lawsuit. This suit led to the creation of a fund to compensate victims, which has already paid billions of dollars. While the fund continues to provide compensation, automotive safety professionals worry not all owners have repaired their vehicles.
The current danger
Sadly, recent news has confirmed the fears of vehicle safety professionals. In early 2021, a defective Takata device exploded and killed a South Carolina man. The man was not the registered owner of the vehicle, so it is unclear whether he recognized it had an unaddressed safety issue.
Continuing to drive a vehicle with a defective Takata airbag may increase a person's chances of suffering a life-altering injury or death. Ultimately, owners of all vehicles should use their vehicle's identification number to determine whether to take them to a service center or dealership for immediate repairs.