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Hawaii Sues Takata: Should Florida Sue Too?
The results are in on the cause of the Takata airbag inflator defect, and what the experts are saying is not good. The propellant used by the airbag company can become unstable when exposed to heat and humidity over extended periods of time, and this can cause the Takata airbag inflators to explode and pepper drivers and passengers with deadly metal shards. This conclusion has forced the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to expand the recall for these dangerous safety devices, but the NHTSA isn’t the only group responding to the news.
Hawaii Sues Takata!
In response to revelations about the defective Takata airbag inflator, Hawaii has sued Takata Corp. and Honda Motor Co. This makes Hawaii the first state to file grievances against the auto parts manufacturer, and state officials have some pretty good reasons for action.
Why Is Hawaii Suing Takata?
Since Hawaii is a tropical state, it has the conditions most likely to cause Takata airbags to fail. That means Hawaiians are at an elevated risk from these defective devices, so the state has taken action. For every Takata recall vehicle sold in Hawaii—an estimated 70,000 units—state officials are asking for a $10,000 penalty from both companies. That could cost the airbag manufacturer and the automaker around $700 million!
The suit seeks compensation and relief reimbursement for car owners affected by the recall. It includes the loss of value in affected vehicles and compensation for car owners’ inconvenience. The lawsuit doesn’t include compensation for crash victims, which leaves them open to continue their personal lawsuits against the companies.
Should Florida Sue Too?
Authorities believe that at least 13 people worldwide have died due to injuries sustained by Takata airbag inflator explosions, and they estimate that over 100 more have been maimed by the devices. Here in Florida, we are just as vulnerable as the Hawaiians. Our state enjoys hot summers, wet weather, and temperate winters, which can provide the conditions necessary for these devices to fail.
Will Florida sue Takata? Do you think our state should sue? Let us know what you think on Facebook and Twitter, and don’t forget to keep following our blog.
From the defective auto parts attorneys at Colson Hicks Eidson—protecting consumer rights with 40 years of dedication.