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Takata airbag recall expanded

Takata Corporation is the largest manufacturer of airbags in the world. More than 100 million of Takata's airbags have been installed in cars in the United States. At the moment, about 34 million of those vehicles are on the road and potentially affected by alleged dangerous design and manufacturing defects that are believed to have killed at least 14 people while injuring over 100 more.

Ammonium nitrate is the common thread

The airbag defects alleged are connected with airbag inflators that shoot metal shrapnel into the heads, necks and chests of vehicle occupants when the airbags are deployed in a crash. Takata has found a few manufacturing defects in affected airbags, but the common thread running through all of them is the fact that the company used and continues to use ammonium nitrate as the propellant to deploy them. That's the same compound that was used in the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma in 1995, which is unstable in hot and humid conditions. A report on independent testing commissioned by Ford, General Motors and Honda found that the following three factors contribute to exploding Takata airbag inflators:

  • Ammonium nitrate propellant without anything to absorb moisture
  • Protracted exposure of ammonium nitrate to high temperatures in the presence of moisture
  • An inflator assembly without sufficient ability to prevent moisture seepage in high humidity

Recently, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) expanded what was already the largest product recall in history by ordering the staggered recall of 35-40 million other vehicles on top of the 28.8 million already recalled. Climate and geography determine which vehicles will be given priority.

It appears as if Takata has placed profit ahead of consumer safety. It also appears as if Takata knew about the ammonium nitrate issue long before it before it became public. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a defective airbag, contact the experienced product liability lawyers at Friday & Cox, LLC. Our attorneys can advise you of the legal remedies available to you and ensure that you receive all compensation you are due by law.

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