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Largest Auto Recall In History Leads to Major Probe

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Four major automakers have landed squarely in the crosshairs of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation.  According to documents posted on December 19th, 2019, Audi, Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi are the companies under investigation.  The probe revolves around a Takata airbag recall, which involved 1.4 million airbag inflators.

The inflators are reported to have a unique problem that can cause them to blow apart, sending metal shrapnel into drivers’ and passengers’ faces and bodies.  The issue stems from problems caused by insufficient seals and a chemical deterioration within the product.  Takata, the maker of the air bags, has already recalled approximately 100 million inflators worldwide, while 19 automakers have recalled approximately 70 million inflators, making it the largest grouping of automotive recalls in United States history.

Takata, who has gone bankrupt due to the recalls, believes it’s made about 4.5 million of the faulty inflators.  However, Takata claims only a portion are still in use, because the vehicles equipped with the inflators are so old.

BMW has been in the headlines of this story, because of a death caused by a faulty airbag in an older 3-series BMW in Australia.  In fact, the problem is so serious in BMW’s that the company has already recalled over 116,000 vehicles and told drivers to park their vehicles, until the issue can be fixed.  The company has explicitly requested customers stop driving certain 1999 323i and 328i sedans manufactured from July 1998 through January 1999.  Additionally, they’ve recalled 34,000 323i and 238i sedans from 1999-2000 and 323Ci coupes with a 2000 model year.  These cars are believed to have been made from March of 1998 through March of 2000.  Finally, BMW recalled over 74,000 323i, 325i, 328i, and 330i sedans with 1999-2001 model years.

The NHTSA has stated in documents that Takata didn’t provide details on the affected makes, models, or model years of vehicles equipped with faulty inflators.  Because of this, it’s encouraging automakers to recall possibly affected vehicles promptly.  The NHTSA also states that it’s likely the vehicles requiring recalls were from the model years 1995-2000.

The 4 companies under NHTSA investigation claim they are looking into the matter and have not decided on a path to resolution yet.  For more information about the Takata recall, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration webpage, or simply click this link: https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/takata-recall-spotlight .

If you or someone you know has been impacted by these recalls, or is concerned about the impacts these recalls can have on them, contact an attorney immediately.  The attorneys at O’Connor Law are always available to walk you through the process.

Visit oconnorlaw.com or call 1-800-518-4LAW to get started.  Don’t allow corporate flaws to become your burden.