Can you sue over an airbag recall if you were injured? Nearly 67 million airbags built by Japanese auto parts maker Takata were recalled in 2019 and 2020. This is a critically important recall, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.” Nineteen different automakers have used these defective airbags in multiple car models.
The problem is in the metal cartridge within the airbag, which is loaded with propellant wafers that cause the airbag to quickly inflate upon impact. High humidity, high temperatures, and age can cause the system to become unstable and the cartridge to ignite and explode upon impact, sending metal shards throughout the car. So far, this defect has caused 17 deaths and over 200 injuries in the United States alone.
The problem, according to the NHTSA, is the use of an ammonium-nitrate-based propellant without a chemical drying agent. What makes this situation particularly troubling is that there is some evidence that Takata was aware of the potential danger before going to market with these airbags.