Ringler Radio, a popular radio program conducted by the nation’s largest structured settlement company, Ringler Associates, welcomes Beasley Allen shareholder Cole Portis regarding the Takata airbag recall and its pending litigation.
Portis describes to the show’s listeners how the Takata airbag recall began as an issue with the inflator mechanism – a device used to inflate airbags at the time of a crash in milliseconds. Due to what Takata referred to as “inadequate compaction force” within the airbag system, the airbags were exploding upon impact, sending sharp metal shrapnel flying into the face and body of those in the front seats. Takata supplied these faulty airbags to 10 different automakers, such as Honda and General Motors, over a period of many years.
The airbags have been linked to six deaths thus far, taking place mostly in Honda vehicles, likely due to the high number of Honda cars equipped with recalled Takata airbags. Portis also said that Honda began receiving complaints about the Takata airbags as early as 2004, but failed to report the 1,729 deaths and injuries to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) throughout the span of nearly 10 years. In January 2015, Honda agreed to pay fines totaling $70 million to the NHTSA after an independent audit revealed the automaker’s dishonesty.
Takata first resisted the notion to launch any recalls just less than a year ago, but after pressure from the NHTSA, the company finally agreed to a limited recall of just over 10 million vehicles in June 2014, confined to areas of high humidity. As a result, several automakers were forced to issue their own recalls of vehicles equipped with the dangerous Takata airbags. Not long after the limited recall was announced, the NHTSA called for the recalls to be expanded worldwide by Takata and the other affected automakers, leading to a total of about 18 million vehicles recalled.