Do You Have a Takata Airbag Lawsuit? Find Out for Free
Takata airbag defects have been responsible for numerous serious and fatal injuries across the United States. If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving a defective airbag, you may have a Takata airbag lawsuit. If you do, our firm can represent you at no out-of-pocket cost, and you will not pay anything unless we help you recover just compensation.
When you are entitled to financial compensation, recovering your losses starts with proving the cause of your injury or your loved one’s death. Simply knowing that an airbag was involved was not enough. At Willis Law Firm Airbag Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience investigating airbag-related accidents and injuries. Airbag injury lawyer, David P. Willis is a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer since 1988 and has been representing injured clients against product makers and the automobile manufacturers for 40+ years.
Takata Airbag Defects
Takata is a Japanese company that supplied airbags to most major automotive manufacturers from the late 1990s through 2017. Takata airbags were installed in tens of millions of vehicles sold in the United States alone. It is now known that Takata’s airbags suffered from a defect that made them prone to exploding suddenly and unexpectedly—and millions of vehicles on the road today still have Takata’s defective airbags installed.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a recall for Takata airbags, and many automotive manufacturers have issued recalls for their vehicles as well. As the NHTSA explains:
“Tens of millions of vehicles with Takata air bags are under recall. Long-term exposure to high heat and humidity can cause these air bags to explode when deployed. Such explosions have caused injuries and deaths.”
While many vehicle owners have had their airbags replaced, the recall process is ongoing, and many owners have been put on a waiting list. Some owners have been on the waiting list for years. As a result, the risk of accidents involving Takata airbag defects remains a very real concern, and more and more people are finding themselves needing to file a Takata airbag lawsuit.
Takata Airbag Injuries
When can (and should) you file a Takata airbag lawsuit? Lawsuits can cover all types of airbag-related injuries. Families who have lost loved ones can—and should—file claims as well. Our firm handles cases involving all types of Takata airbag injuries, including:
- Facial injuries
- Eye, ear and nose injuries
- Jaw injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Chest injuries
- Arm and leg injuries
- Fatal airbag injuries
These are just some of the most common examples. If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury in an accident involving a defective Takata airbag, we strongly encourage you to contact us. We can provide a clear assessment of your legal rights, and we can help you make an informed decision about whether to move forward with filing a Takata airbag lawsuit.
Filing a Takata Injury Lawsuit
What can you expect if you move forward with filing a Takata airbag injury lawsuit? If you are entitled to financial compensation for a Takata airbag defect, our firm will work on your behalf to recover the compensation you and your family deserve. We will also work with you to understand the effects (both financial and non-financial) of your injuries or your loved one’s death. The amount you are entitled to recover depends entirely on your individual circumstances, so it is imperative that we have a clear understanding of all of the ways the airbag’s explosion impacts you and your family.
With this in mind, here is a brief overview of what you can expect if you choose our firm to handle your Takata airbag lawsuit:
1. We Will Investigate the Cause of the Accident
When filing any type of lawsuit, you need to have a clear and comprehensive understanding of what happened and why. We will investigate to confirm whether a Takata airbag defect is to blame while also addressing the possibility that you may have a claim against a negligent driver or other third parties including the vehicle manufacturer and in some cases the local dealer.
2. We Will Gather the Evidence We Need to Prove Liability
Filing a defective airbag lawsuit requires more than just evidence from the scene of the crash. Since we have experience handling defective airbag lawsuits, we are intimately familiar with the evidence needed to prove automotive manufacturers’ liability in these cases.
3. We Will Work With You to Understand Your (or Your Family’s) Long-Term Costs
In addition to evidence of liability, filing a successful Takata airbag lawsuit also requires evidence of your (or your family’s) costs resulting from the airbag’s explosion. This includes both financial and non-financial costs, and it includes both costs incurred to date and costs that will be incurred in the future.
4. We Will Negotiate for a Just Out-of-Court Settlement
Settling your case allows you to move on without the need to go to court. We will negotiate for a just out-of-court settlement on your behalf; and, if a settlement offer is on the table, we will help you make an informed decision about whether to accept.
5. We Will Take Your Takata Airbag Lawsuit to Court if Necessary
If you do not receive a fair and reasonable settlement offer, we will take your Takata airbag lawsuit to court. You should not settle for less than you deserve. With decades of experience representing victims and their families in litigation, we are comfortable representing our clients at trial, and we know what it takes to win.
Takata Airbag Recall Timeline
While many people are only just learning about the Takata airbag recall, it has been 20 years since the issues with Takata’s defective airbags started to emerge. But, automotive manufacturers are still struggling to replace vehicle owners’ defective Takata airbags in a timely manner, and tens of millions of vehicles on U.S. roads are still equipped with dangerous Takata airbags that have the potential to explode upon deployment.
Regardless of when your vehicle was manufactured, if you have recently been involved in an accident that resulted in airbag-related injuries, you should talk to a Takata airbag attorney about filing a claim. While different states have different deadlines, you should have at least a year from the date of the accident to file a Takata injury lawsuit—and you may have much longer. When you contact us, we will arrange for you to speak with an experienced attorney one-on-one, and your attorney will explain everything you need to know about seeking just compensation for your injuries.
Here is an overview of the Takata airbag recall timeline:
- 2004: The first reported Takata airbag explosion happened in Alabama in 2004. However, at the time, the incident was deemed an anomaly. As a result, neither Takata nor the vehicle’s manufacturer issued a recall, and the NHTSA did not conduct an investigation.
- 2007: In 2007, there were three additional reports of Takata airbags exploding during deployment. However, even these three incidents were deemed insufficient to warrant a recall.
- 2008: Following the previous year’s Takata airbag explosions, Honda settled with some of the victims who were injured in these accidents in 2008. This same year, Honda initiated the first Takata-related recall, recalling just over 4,000 vehicles. However, Takata refused to acknowledge that its airbags played a role in causing the victims’ injuries.
- 2010: Honda expanded its Takata-related recall in 2010. Acura recalled some of its vehicles at this time as well. Takata continued to deny that its airbags were responsible for the injuries and deaths that had occurred to date.
- 2011: As concerns about the inflators in Takata’s airbags continued to grow, additional recalls expanded the total number of recalled vehicles to approximately 900,000.
- 2012: As victims continued coming forward additional automotive manufacturers joined Honda and Acura in issuing Takata-related recalls. The total number of recalled vehicles swelled to well over one million.
- 2013: In 2013, the total number of vehicles recalled due to being equipped with defective Takata airbags increased to more than 2.5 million. At this point, Acura, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Isuzu, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota have all issued Takata-related recalls.
- 2014: The NHTSA finally investigates Takata’s airbags in 2014. On November 18, 2014, the NHTSA ordered Takata to issue a nationwide recall of its defective airbags. As the number of victims of Takata’s defective airbags continues to increase, the number of lawsuits filed against Takata and automakers increases as well.
- 2015: In 2015, the NHTSA is actively seeking to ensure that Takata rectifies the issues with its defective airbags. It orders Takata to pay a fine of $14,000 per day after determining that the company is failing to cooperate with its investigation.
- 2016: By 2016, the scope of the issue is finally starting to be understood. At this point, more than 40 million vehicles across the United States are subject to Takata-related recalls.
- 2017: Three years after the NHTSA initiated its investigation, Takata pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States and agreed to pay a staggering $1 billion fine. However, it filed for bankruptcy a short time later—in addition to announcing an additional recall of 2.7 million Ford, Mazda and Nissan vehicles.
- 2018: Despite the intensive scrutiny the company has faced over the past four years, Takata announced yet another round of recalls in 2018. This round of recalls brought the total number of affected vehicles to more than 45 million. The NHTSA also urged drivers of certain Ford and Mazda trucks not to drive their vehicles due to the risk of their airbags exploding.
- 2019: By this point, nearly all major automotive manufacturers have announced Takata-related recalls. Honda announces the 16th confirmed death caused by a defective Takata airbag.
- 2020: General Motors announces yet another round of recalls, this one involving nearly six million Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC trucks and SUVs. The company’s announcement comes after the NHTSA rejects its argument that the airbags in these vehicles differed enough from the ones that have been exploding that a recall was unwarranted.
- 2021: The NHTSA reports that the total number of defective Takata airbags sold in the United States exceeds 67 million. It also denies a petition from Ford and Mazda to exempt certain vehicles from the ongoing recall process; and, a short time later Ford discloses that it has installed more than 150,000 defective Takata airbag inflators during repairs.
- 2022: Automaker-initiated recalls continue, and additional confirmed deaths add to the toll of Takata’s defective airbags. Automakers and the NHTSA continue to advise against driving certain vehicle models that present the highest risks for airbag-related injuries and fatalities.
- 2023: BMW, Honda and Dodge issue additional “Do Not Drive” warnings. Injuries and deaths caused by defective Takata airbags continue to mount, and victims and their families continue to file claims for just compensation.
- 2024: Toyota issues a “Do Not Drive” warning for an additional 50,000 vehicles. The Takata airbag recall process is ongoing, and victims and their families are continuing to pursue claims against the automakers based on their sale of vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags.
Takata Recall Zones
Due to the extraordinary number of vehicles that are subject to Takata airbag recalls (more than 67 million), automakers are still in the process of scheduling appointments to replace vehicle owners’ airbags. This process is expected to take several more years, and the NHTSA has worked with automakers to develop a strategy to replace defective Takata airbags in the most high-risk vehicles first.
As part of this strategy, the NHTSA and automakers have established “Takata Recall Zones.” There are three Recall Zones—Zone A, Zone B and Zone C.
Takata Recall Zone A
Zone A is considered the highest risk, and vehicles registered in Zone A are currently at the top of the priority list for having their defective Takata airbags replaced. This is because the states and U.S. territories in Zone A are those with the highest humidity, and humidity is one factor that can cause Takata’s defective airbags to explode violently without warning instead of deploying properly during a collision.
The states and U.S. territories included in Takata Recall Zone A are: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Takata Recall Zone B
Zone B is considered the second highest risk area for Takata airbag explosions. While not as high-risk as vehicles located in Zone A, vehicles in Zone B should still receive replacement airbags as soon as possible.
The states and U.S. territories included in Takata Recall Zone B are: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Takata Recall Zone C
The states in Zone C are those with the lowest average humidity. These states are: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Regardless of the Takata Recall Zone in which a vehicle is located, the vehicle’s airbags may be defective and dangerous. As a result, no matter where you live, if you have been affected by a defective Takata airbag, you should speak with a Takata airbag attorney about your legal rights as soon as possible.
Automakers and Their Responsibility in the Takata Recall
While Takata is responsible for manufacturing the defective airbags installed in tens of millions of vehicles sold in the United States over the past 20-plus years, it isn’t the only company that is responsible. The automakers that sold these vehicles are responsible as well.
Defective airbag cases in the United States are governed by the law of “products liability.” While each state has its own products liability laws, these laws share one key factor in common.
Under U.S. products liability laws, product manufacturers and all companies in the chain of distribution are responsible when the products they sell cause injuries and fatalities. This means that even if an automaker buys its airbags from Takata, it is still responsible when these airbags explode. These laws are designed to ensure that automakers do not try to escape liability by buying components from third-party suppliers, and it puts the onus on automakers to ensure that the components they buy are safe for the road.
Another key aspect of U.S. products liability laws is that they hold companies in the chain of distribution “strictly liable” for injuries and fatalities caused by product defects. This means that victims and their families do not need to prove negligence. If a product is defective—and it has been clearly established that Takata’s airbags in recalled vehicles are defective—this is enough to establish victims’ and families’ claims for just compensation.
But, even though this is the case, victims and families seeking just compensation for Takata airbag-related injuries and fatalities need experienced legal representation. To prove your legal rights, you need an experienced Takata airbag attorney on your side. The automakers are still fighting victims’ and families’ claims for just compensation, and it takes an experienced attorney to file a successful claim. When you hire an experienced attorney, your attorney will also carefully calculate your financial and non-financial losses to ensure that you are seeking the full compensation you and your family deserve.
FAQs: Seeking Just Compensation with the Help of a Takata Airbag Attorney
How Much Will I Get From the Takata Airbag Settlement?
There is not a single Takata airbag settlement. Although there are class action lawsuits pending against some automakers, these class actions do not cover all defective Takata airbags, vehicle owners and accident victims. While joining a class action (if you are eligible to do so) may allow you to recover a small amount of compensation, if you or a loved one has been harmed by a defective Takata airbag, you will need to hire a Takata airbag attorney to file a lawsuit of your own.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about Takata airbag lawsuits and settlements. If you have a claim for serious or fatal injuries caused by a defective Takata airbag, you must hire an attorney to help you assert your legal rights. Class actions provide relatively small amounts of compensation to members of large groups who have experienced similar consumer losses (i.e., out-of-pocket costs related to replacing defective airbags). They do not provide full compensation for injury victims and their families. If you think you may have a claim related to a defective Takata airbag, it is important that you speak with a Takata airbag attorney about your legal rights as soon as possible.
Can You Sue for an Airbag Recall?
While it is possible to sue for an airbag recall (and class action lawsuits related to the Takata airbag recalls are pending), it is important to understand the difference between a lawsuit for an airbag recall and a lawsuit for airbag-related injuries. Lawsuits for airbag recalls generally seek compensation for the costs of the recall itself.
In contrast, lawsuits for airbag-related injuries seek compensation for all of the costs that victims and their families incur as a result of these injuries. This includes not only financial costs such as medical bills and prescriptions, but also non-financial losses such as pain and suffering. In these cases, filing a successful lawsuit can be critical for managing the long-term costs of defective Takata airbag explosions. If you think you may have a claim, speaking with an experienced Takata airbag attorney is the first step toward securing the financial resources you and your family will need in the future.
Can I Still Get My Takata Airbag Replaced?
Yes, if your vehicle has Takata airbags that are subject to a recall, you can—and should—get them replaced promptly. You can either contact your vehicle’s manufacturer directly or contact your local dealership to schedule an appointment for your vehicle’s airbag replacement. The manufacturer or dealership will need to confirm that your vehicle’s airbags are subject to the recall, and then it should schedule an appointment as soon as it has a time slot and the necessary replacement parts available.
While the NHTSA has indicated that it is okay to drive certain vehicles while waiting to have their airbags replaced, other vehicles are subject to “Do Not Drive” notifications. You can find out if your vehicle is subject to a “Do Not Drive” notification on the NHTSA’s website ( www.NHTSA.gov). If you contact your vehicle’s manufacturer or your local dealership, it should be able to tell you whether a “Do Not Drive” notification has been issued for your vehicle as well.
What was the Outcome of the Takata Airbag Case?
Lawsuits involving Takata’s defective airbags are still pending. Takata and automakers that sold vehicles equipped with Takata’s defective airbags are facing lawsuits from victims and families across the country. If you believe that you may have a case against Takata or your vehicle’s manufacturer, you should schedule a free initial consultation with a Takata airbag attorney promptly.
Among the cases that have already been resolved, many have resulted in out-of-court settlements. By issuing mass recalls, Takata and automakers have effectively acknowledged that the company’s airbags are defective. If you have a Takata airbag case and you hire an experienced lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will work to secure a favorable out-of-court settlement on your behalf as well.
Is Takata Paying Victims?
While Takata agreed to pay $125 million to injury victims and their families as part of its $1 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the company has since filed for bankruptcy, and the total cost of victims’ losses is going to be far greater than this amount. As a result, rather than pursuing claims against Takata, many victims and families are now pursuing their claims against the automakers that installed defective Takata airbags in their vehicles.
Under U.S. products liability laws, automakers share financial responsibility with Takata. As companies in the “chain of distribution” of Takata’s faulty airbags, automakers are liable for putting these airbags in people’s vehicles and on U.S. roads. As a result, even if recovering financial compensation from Takata may be unlikely, victims and their families still can—and should—hire a Takata airbag attorney to help them pursue claims for just compensation. Speaking with an attorney about your legal rights costs nothing; and, if you have a claim for a defective Takata airbag, you can hire an attorney to represent you at no out-of-pocket cost.
Talk to a Lawyer About Filing a Takata Airbag Lawsuit
Do you have questions about filing a Takata airbag lawsuit? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly to learn more. We represent victims and families in lawsuits against automotive manufacturers nationwide. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a lawyer at Willis Law Firm Airbag Injury Lawyers, call us or request an appointment online today.