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Latest Takata Airbag Fatality Occurred in California

As San Diego injury lawyers, we were saddened to learn that the latest fatality linked to the defective Takata airbags occurred in California. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently confirmed that a 50-year-old female died after sustaining injuries in a Riverside County crash.

As we have previously discussed on this San Diego Injury Blog, the Takata airbag inflators are currently subject to the largest and most complex auto safety recall in U.S. history. The latest fatality is the 11th confirmed U.S. death linked to the defect.

The defective Takata airbags are so dangerous because they can rupture and propel metal parts into the vehicle. While researchers initially believed that the airbag issues were tied to high temperatures and humidity, new evidence has revealed that the Takata airbags can malfunction in other environments.

Many dangerous vehicles are still on the road. Despite the widespread media attention, less than one-third of the faulty inflators have been fixed, in large part due to a lack of replacement parts. In other cases, owners are still not aware that their vehicles have a deadly defect.

According to NHTSA, the latest victim was driving a 2001 Honda Civic that had been recalled in 2008, but not repaired. The vehicle was one of the Honda and Acura vehicles that NHTSA has identified as holding “substantially higher risk.” The list includes the following vehicles:

  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Acura 3.2CL
  • 2003 Honda Pilot

Because the airbags in these vehicles are more prone to rupture, the Department of Transportation told vehicle owners to not drive the vehicles unless directly to a dealer to have them repaired. Unfortunately, there are thousands of defective cars and SUVs that have not yet been repaired.

Given the serious risks posed by the defective Takata airbags, particularly in Southern California’s warmer climate, we encourage vehicle owners to visit www.safercar.gov to check the recall status of their vehicles.

If you or someone you love has suffered serious harm due to a dangerous or defective motor vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation. We have the knowledge and experience to protect your legal rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.