Recent news has brought many stories of deaths caused by defective car parts, ranging from ignition switches to, most recently, air bags. Takata Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are to be the defendants in lawsuits filed alleging their responsibility for exploding airbag deaths. Manufacturers are now recalling millions of vehicles for the defect.
The risk of Takata Corp. produced airbags exploding and spraying metal shards inside the vehicle, putting the driver and passengers at risk of serious injuries, first received official response in January 2014. Various automakers worldwide have recalled nearly 16 million cars to address this issue. The first known instances of the problem in fact occurred as early as 2008.
In Orlando, Fla., Hien Tran’s family recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Takata and Honda. On Sept. 29, Tran’s vehicle collided with another car and the airbag exploded. She died three days after the accident. The statement of claim suggests Honda failed in its duty to keep customers safe by warning them about the potential danger of the airbags, despite Honda’s awarenesss of the issue. The company knew of at least eight serious airbag injuries between 2009 and 2014.
What initially baffled investigators about this accident was the fact that Tran had stablike wounds, causing an accident investigation to become, temporarily, a homicide case. Those wounds, later determined to be airbag shrapnel by the Medical Examiner, contributed to her death. Neither corporation has commented to the media, other than to indicate that owners of recalled vehicles need to get their vehicles fixed as soon as they can.
There have been at least four deaths in the U.S. linked to Takata airbags in Honda vehicles. Shockingly, the Tran statement of claim also alleged an email from Honda headquarters suggesting dealers not contact customers about the issue, as there were not enough replacement parts.
Any California residents who may have been in an accident and been hit by flying metal shrapnel from the airbag, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to potentially file a lawsuit for wrongful death and for knowingly installing a defective product in vehicles and not warning consumers in order to receive compensation for injuries.