Takata Corp. is responsible for one of the largest automotive recalls in history. The airbag maker has so far been responsible for creating the airbags that caused 139 reported injuries and at least 11 deaths in automobile accidents.
Takata airbags use ammonium nitrate in the airbag cartridges, which creates a small explosion that propels and expands the bag outwards upon impact. However, the ammonium nitrate deteriorates its metal casing when exposed to humidity and heat over time. This causes it to burn too quickly, blowing apart its metal canister and hurling what is ultimately metal shrapnel into drivers.
Last month, a semi-truck carrying Takata airbags from a bag inflator factory crashed and exploded. The explosion, caused by the airbags and the ammonium nitrate they are made with, leveled a house and sent debris flying up to two miles away from the crash site in Texas.
What You Need to Know About Takata Airbags
While airbags are supposed to be a safety feature that could possibly save lives in car accidents, Takata airbags put drivers in dangerous situations for even minor fender benders. Worse, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requested the company to acknowledge its defective product, Takata refused saying there was not enough data to support that. The company may want to tell that to the 139 people who were injured as a result of its defective airbags.
So far, auto makers have recalled roughly 34 million vehicles containing the airbags with metal casing and ammonium nitrate, but there are millions more that have not been recalled. If you have sustained an injury caused by Takata airbags, consult with an attorney immediately to assess the situation and explain your rights moving forward.