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A 50-year-old California woman was on her way to get a flu shot when disaster struck. A Chevrolet pickup was taking a left hand turn when it pulled out in front of the woman’s 2001 Honda Civic. The car hit the truck head on, and the resulting collision deployed the Honda’s airbag. However, that airbag wasn’t as safe as it was supposed to be. It was one of Takata’s defective units.
The California woman was rushed to a local hospital in Riverside County, California. Unfortunately, she later succumbed to the injuries she suffered during the crash. Riverside police suspected Honda’s airbag was the cause of the woman’s death, but they had to be sure. Investigators took the better part of a month evaluating the evidence, and they have finally reached a conclusion.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that they believe this California woman was the 11th Takata-related death in the United States. In Malaysia, officials are investigating the deaths of five other individuals that they believe to be the victims of defective Takata airbag inflators. That would bring the total number of deaths related to this recall up to 16.
It’s estimated that over 100 million cars may be affected by the Takata recall worldwide and around 70 million of those cars are right here in the U.S. That means that one in seven automobiles on American roads may have one of these defective airbag inflators. These defective safety devices can explode with such force that they can pepper drivers and passengers with metal fragments. These explosions have caused many injuries and deaths, and though Honda claims to have sent over 20 recall notices to the registered owners of these cars, there are still many who don’t know about the recall.
Is there anything Honda or Takata can do to spread the word about this recall? Will the victims of this defect, and their families, continue to suffer? Will the remaining recalled cars be fixed in time to stop more injuries and deaths from happening? Colson Hicks Eidson partner Curtis Miner has been appointed as lead counsel in the Takata multidistrict litigation, so you know we’ll stay on top of this case. Keep following our blog for more answers, and tell our product liability lawyers what you think by logging on to Twitter and Facebook.