Honda has recalled driver side airbags throughout the United States. Takata Corporation, manufacturers of the airbags, has made several statements about the defective products since the recall about the problem. According to officials, the airbags explode with so much force that they can shoot metal shrapnel are car pieces into the passenger's side compartment. The airbag maker insists that the recall, that now covers approximately 8 million vehicles in areas of the United States with high humidity, is sufficient enough; however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says otherwise. The NHTSA believes the recall should be nationwide because of accidents that have happened outside of areas with high humidity.
On Wednesday, Honda's executive VP for North America told the House that the car company will indeed expand its recalls starting in June, but that it will still continue to place high-humidity areas at a high priority. In addition, the VP said that Honda is working with other airbag makers to ensure Takata is buildings its airbags with enough parts. Takata believes that the recall is not supported by enough evidence and that the U.S. government does not have enough authority to force a parts manufacturer into a recall. In a letter on Tuesday to the NHTSA, Takata's letter of rejection about the recalls was obtained by the Associated Press.
In response, the NHTSA has called Takata's letter "disappointing" and is ready to review the response and determine their next move. The NHTSA has the right to impose fines of up to $35 million. Just a week ago, the NHTSA threatened to fine Takata if it did not admit that its airbags are indeed defective products.
According to a number of complaints, the airbag's inflators inflate with far too much force, shooting metal pieces toward the passenger's seat. So far, the defective product can be attributed to at least five deaths and dozens of injuries throughout the world. However, Takata's letter to the NHTSA says that its requests for recalls are based on evidence that just isn't there.
As Takata attempts to categorically deny each instance it's asked about, the injuries are mounting and high fine are likely inevitable.
If you have been injured by defective products, such as airbags or any other types of car parts, call the defective products attorneys at Goodrich & Geist today for a free consultation at 800-806-2456 or 412-766-1455.
Source: Post-Gazette.com, "Honda to expand recall of cars with Takata driver's side air bags" 3 December 2014