South Carolina Injury Attorneys
Report: Honda Knew About Defective Takata Airbags in 2009

Report: Honda Knew About Defective Takata Airbags in 2009

In a surprising admission, car maker Honda has revealed that it knew about the defective Takata airbags in its cars as early as 2009, years before it issued any recalls related to the airbags. It is now unclear whether or not the company will now also become liable for injuries resulting from the dangerous bags-- which have mostly been documented in their vehicle models in the U.S.

As CNBC reports, Honda confirmed that it "quietly" requested airbag changes from Takata due to their defects in August 2009. Injuries and even a death had already been attributed to the bags by that date. Honda failed to notify U.S. regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the request, a direct violation of the law. The company maintains that the Takata request "was not an acknowledgement of a larger design flaw in the inflators," and that the diligence was only to "protect against the possibility of future manufacturing errors."

Few legal experts see the wisdom in that statement, however. "You can't say, 'It's a supplier problem, not ours, so we don't have to talk about it," said Peter Henning, a corporate law professor at Wayne State University. "They are responsible for every part on their car and also responsible to report a problem with any part on that car."

"[Honda] made a determination of a defect when they asked for the fail-safe design," said John Kristensen, a west coast product liability lawyer. "They had an obligation to tell the government back in 2009. Good luck defending that."

Ongoing Effort to Replace Airbags

Nine deaths and hundreds of injuries have been linked to Takata's airbags in the U.S. Honda is hardly the only car maker affected: Toyota, BMW, Dodge, Ford, Nissan, Chrysler, and numerous other major car makers used the bags in their recent car models. Millions of vehicles worldwide have been recalled, but suppliers and manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the demand.

The issue lies in the airbag inflator: the defective design made is so that, when some of the airbags deploy, they do so with too much force. The explosion then sends shrapnel through the cabin of the car, putting the driver and any passengers at significant risk of serious, even life-threatening injury. There are currently more than 100 federal and state lawsuits against Takata in the U.S.

If you or a loved has been hurt by a Takata airbag, then you may have the grounds to seek compensation. Contact our dedicated and knowledgeable Greenville product liability attorneys at Christian & Christian today to start exploring your legal options. Call 864.408.8890 now.


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