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Defective Takata airbags still being installed in new cars

Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2016   

Despite the fact that they will need to be recalled eventually, there are at least four carmakers—Volkswagen, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Fiat Chrysler—that will continue to install defective Takata airbags into new vehicles, according to a report released by a Senate Commerce Committee.  As reported by The New York Times, the report indicates that some vehicles that have been recalled for their defective airbags have been receiving airbags that are defective and which will need to be subject to another recall down the line.

As of now, regulators do not require automakers to tell people who buy new cars that they their vehicle has been equipped with a defective Takata airbag.  Since these airbags are not thought to pose an immediate threat—they only become defective after a certain period of time—regulators have allowed the continued use of Takata airbags in new and recalled vehicles. However, these newly-installed Takata airbags will still need to be recalled at a later date.

Considering that 60 million vehicles have already been recalled to fix the defective airbags, Karl Brauer, a senior analyst for Kelly Blue Book, noted that it has been difficult for automakers to find alternate airbag suppliers.  Nonetheless, Brauer believes that regulators should require carmakers to at least disclose which models have been installed with a defective airbag that will eventually need to be replaced.

When it does come time to begin recalling these newly-installed airbags, automakers will begin contacting owners in the first quarter of 2017 so that their airbags may be replaced with a non-Takata inflator.

 


Texas teenager killed by exploding Takata airbag

Posted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2016   

A teenage driver in Texas was killed on March 31 after the Takata airbag in her 2002 Honda Civic exploded in a minor collision, sending a metal shard into her neck. Sadly, the driver, 17-year-old Huma Hanif, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. With this death confirmed by Honda, the number of fatalities linked to dangerous, recalled Takata airbags in Honda vehicles has risen to 11.

Millions of cars with recalled airbags, produced by Takata, are still on the road. These airbags contain a chemical that prevents proper deployment, with many airbags exploding and expelling metal fragments throughout the vehicle’s passenger cabin. While many owners of affected vehicles have already received recall notices, many of these affected vehicles are more than 10 years old and have been sold to multiple owners. So while law makers are cracking down on recalls, many companies have no way of knowing who now owns the recalled cars.

To make matters worse, only about 27 percent of recalled vehicles have been upgraded with a new airbag. Some of the reason for this is that many dealerships do not even have the parts in stock needed to repair the recalled vehicles. For instances, some Honda owners have been informed that the parts necessary to address this recall will not become available until Summer 2016.


Five million vehicles to be recalled for another airbag defect

Posted on Monday, February 8th, 2016   

Honda and Fiat Chrysler have issued a worldwide recall of five million vehicles to fix a defective airbag component that the automakers have known about for years. This defective component—a semiconductor that can become susceptible to corrosion—causes the airbag to do one of two things: deploy at random times, or not deploy at all when it is needed.

The defect was discovered in January of 2008 by Continental Automotive Systems, the German company that manufacturers the components that actually control the airbags in these vehicles, who then informed automakers of the defect, according to Mary Arraf, a Continental spokesperson. Arraf went on to claim that it was up to automakers to issue a recall at that point.

The fact that it has taken eight years for anything to be done about the defect is concerning, not to mention probably illegal; federal law in the United States mandates that manufacturers must inform regulators of its plans to issue a recall within five business days of becoming aware of a safety problem. Arraf indicated that “‘potentially less than two million’” vehicles may be affected in the United States.

At present, only Honda and Fiat Chrysler have initiated recalls, though a number of other car makers may eventually need to follow suit, including Mazda and Volvo. A Mazda spokesperson said that the company was still investigating. At Pohl & Berk, LLP, our firm will continue to monitor this evolving story.


Fiat Chrysler issues recall of Ram 1500 Quad Cab truck

Posted on Friday, September 11th, 2015   

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Fiat Chrysler is issuing a recall of nearly 1.7 million Ram trucks.

Accounting for about 188,000 of the vehicles recalled in this announcement are 2014 – 2015 Ram 1500 Quad Cab pickup trucks that reportedly have an issue that may prevent the side curtain airbags from adequately overlapping the C-pillars in the event of a collision. This issue represents a failure on Fiat Chrysler’s behalf to meet federal regulations to “reduce the risk of rear-occupant ejection during a rollover crash,” according to the NHTSA report. While there have been no reported incidents related to the issue, its presence raises the risk of injury to backseat passengers.

The auto maker reminded owners that “All FCA US vehicles are equipped with electronic stability control, which reduces the risk of rollovers” on their website; however the statement also reminds drivers and passengers to always wear their seatbelts.

As the recall is still under development and not yet official, owners must wait to schedule service appointments for their affected vehicles. For more information, contact Fiat Chrysler’s customer service at 1-800-853-1403.

If you have been injured in a collision caused by a defect in your vehicle, contact the attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP, to let us help you fight for compensation for your unnecessary suffering.


Japanese Manufacturer Takata Caught in Cover Up

Posted on Monday, November 10th, 2014   

In November 2008, the first round of recalls involving vehicles equipped with certain airbags manufactured by Takata were issued due to concerns over defective airbags. When the recall was announced, the company cited studies from 2008 that showed the risk of defective airbags in certain vehicles.

Now, former Takata employees have stepped forward to disclose that the company actually completed secret tests in 2004 when the first reports of rupturing airbags occurred. According to these former employees, secret tests were ordered by Takata executives and conducted after official business hours and on weekends. These initial tests indicated that the steel inflaters in the airbags cracked upon impact and could allow the airbags to release dangerous debris. Despite this, the former workers now state that the executives ordered the test results to be thrown out and erased from company records.

These defective airbags have been the cause of over 130 injuries and four deaths. Takata will likely face legal action from those who were injured by the airbags prior to the recall.

If you were involved in a car accident involving defective or faulty airbags, you may be eligible to seek financial compensation from the liable parties, and the legal team at Pohl & Berk, LLP, is prepared to help you through this process. For more information about your legal options, call our Tennessee personal injury lawyers at (615) 277-2765 today.


Congress Demands Action on Takata Recalls as NHTSA Flubs Response

Posted on Monday, October 27th, 2014   

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s attempts to persuade consumers to immediately respond to the exploding Takata airbag recalls backfired, as the agency’s website was full of mis-information and partially inoperable. Acting Administrator David Friedman affirmed Toyota’s plan to disable defective airbags until replacements could be installed, reasoning that an airbag inflator that could rupture was already broken, drawing a sharp response from several members of Congress.

U.S. Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sent a blistering letter to the agency, pointing out that disabling an airbag is prohibited by federal law.

We are alarmed and astonished that NHTSA has endorsed a policy recently announced by Toyota and GM that dealers should disable passenger-side airbags and instruct against permitting passengers in the front seat if replacement parts for these airbags are unavailable. As a matter of policy, this step is extraordinarily troubling and potentially dangerous. As a matter of law, as you are aware, §30122(b) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (49 U.S.C.) prohibits a manufacturer from knowingly making a safety device inoperative unless the Secretary issues a specific exemption. We are unaware of an exemption from your office in the case of Takata airbags. We are also unaware of any risk assessment or other analysis conducted by NHTSA or automobile manufacturers showing that more lives would be saved than lost by disabling these air bags. Lastly, we are unaware of any information distinguishing the safety threats posed by the passenger-side airbags from the driver-side airbags. If the airbag is too dangerous for passengers, how can the very same airbag installed on the driver-side be sufficiently safe for drivers?

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida took the agency to task for urging vehicle owners to take action, without providing them with specific steps, and for allowing automakers to launch regional recalls. He pointed out that many of his state’s part-time resident may have their cars registered in northern states, but still spent significant parts of the year in a hot and humid climate. All three urged automakers affected by the recalls to provide customers awaiting replacement airbags with free rental cars,. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce has talked about holding a hearing.

There are now 7.8 million U.S. vehicles under recall involving 10 manufacturers: Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. In 2009, Takata told NHTSA that it has used propellant chemistry in more than 100,000,000 air bag inflators sold to most major vehicle manufacturers over the past 10 years.  Friedman has said that NHTSA investigators have “definitively identified the root cause.” But, given the many explanations that Takata has offered over the last six years, it’s hard to believe.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are investigating if Takata lied to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the scope of the defect. This is the same office that successfully concluded a four-year probe into Toyota’s actions surrounding Unintended Acceleration last March. The automaker pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and agreed to pay the government $1.2 billion for lying about the defect to NHTSA and consumers.

You can view the Manufacturer, Make, Model, Model Year(s), and Recall Numbers of affected vehicles on the list below:

  • Mazda, Mazda, Mazda6, 2003-2004, 13V130
  • Mazda, Mazda, RX-8, 2004, 13V130
  • Toyota, Toyota, Corolla, 2002-2004, 13V133
  • Toyota, Toyota, Matrix, 2002-2004, 13V133
  • Toyota, Lexus, SC430, 2002-2004, 13V133
  • Toyota, Toyota, Sequoia, 2002-2004, 13V133
  • Toyota, Toyota, Tundra, 2002-2004, 13V133
  • GM, Pontiac, Vibe, 2002-2004, 13V133
  • Nissan, Infiniti, FX35, 2003, 13V136
  • Nissan, Infiniti, FX45, 2003, 13V136
  • Nissan, Infiniti, I-30, 2001, 13V136
  • Nissan, Infiniti, I35, 2002-2003, 13V136
  • Nissan, Nissan, Maxima, 2001-2003, 13V136
  • Nissan, Nissan, Pathfinder, 2001-2003, 13V136
  • Nissan, Infiniti, QX4, 2002-2003, 13V136
  • Nissan, Nissan, Sentra, 2002-2003, 13V136
  • BMW, BMW, 325Ci, 2002-2003, 13V172
  • BMW, BMW, 325i, 2002-2003, 13V172
  • BMW, BMW, 325iT, 2002-2003, 13V172
  • BMW, BMW, 325xi, 2002-2003, 13V172
  • BMW, BMW, 325xiT, 2002-2003, 13V172
  • BMW, BMW, 330Ci, Convertible, 2002-2003, 13V172
  • BMW, BMW, 330Ci, Coupe, 2002-2003, 13V172
  • BMW, BMW, 330i, 2002-2003, 13V172
  • BMW, BMW, 330xi, Sedan, 2002-2003, 13V172
  • BMW, BMW, M3, Convertible, 2002-2003, 13V172
  • BMW, BMW, M3, Coupe, 2002-2003, 13V172
  • Nissan, Infiniti, FX, 2003-2005, 14V340
  • Nissan, Infiniti, I35, 2003-2004, 14V340
  • Nissan, Infiniti, M, 2006, 14V340
  • Nissan, Nissan, Pathfinder, 2003-2004, 14V340
  • Nissan, Nissan, Sentra, 2004-2006, 14V340
  • Ford, Ford, GT, 2005-2006, 14V343
  • Ford, Ford, Mustangs, 2005-2007, 14V343
  • Ford, Ford, Ranger, 2004, 14V343
  • Mazda, Mazda, B-Series, 2004, 14V344
  • Mazda, Mazda, Mazda6, 2003-2007, 14V344
  • Mazda, Mazda, MazdaSpeed6, 2006-2007, 14V344
  • Mazda, Mazda, MPV, 2004-2005, 14V344
  • Mazda, Mazda, RX-8, 2004-2008, 14V344
  • BMW, BMW, 325i, 2004-2006, 14V348
  • BMW, BMW, 325xi, 2004-2005, 14V348
  • BMW, BMW, 330i, 2004-2006, 14V348
  • BMW, BMW, 330xi, 2004-2005, 14V348
  • BMW, BMW, M3, 2004-2006, 14V348
  • Toyota, Toyota, Corolla, 2003-2005, 14V350
  • Toyota, Toyota, Matrix, 2003-2005, 14V350
  • Toyota, Lexus, SC430, 2003-2005, 14V350
  • Toyota, Toyota, Sequoia, 2003-2005, 14V350
  • Toyota, Toyota, Tundra, 2003-2005, 14V350
  • Toyota, Pontiac, Vibe, 2003-2005, 14V350
  • Honda, Honda, Accord, 2001-2007, 14V351
  • Honda, Honda, Accord, 2001-2002, 14V351
  • Honda, Honda, Civic, 2001-2005, 14V351
  • Honda, Honda, CR-V, 2002-2006, 14V351
  • Honda, Honda, Element, 2003-2011, 14V351
  • Honda, Acura, MDX, 2003-2006, 14V351
  • Honda, Honda, Odyssey, 2002-2004, 14V351
  • Honda, Honda, Pilot, 2003-2007, 14V351
  • Honda, Honda, Ridgeline, 2006, 14V351
  • Honda, Acura, TL/CL, 2002-2003, 14V351
  • Honda, Honda, Accord, 2003-2005, 14V353
  • Honda, Honda, Civic, 2003-2005, 14V353
  • Honda, Honda, CR-V, 2003-2005, 14V353
  • Honda, Honda, Element, 2003-2005, 14V353
  • Honda, Acura, MDX, 2003-2005, 14V353
  • Honda, Honda, Odyssey, 2003-2004, 14V353
  • Honda, Honda, Pilot, 2003-2005, 14V353
  • Honda, Honda, Ridgeline, 2006, 14V353
  • Honda, Acura, RL, 2005, 14V353
  • Chrysler, Chrysler, 300, 2005-2008, 14V354
  • Chrysler, Chrysler, Aspen, 2007-2008, 14V354
  • Chrysler, Dodge, Dakota, 2005-2008, 14V354
  • Chrysler, Dodge, Durango, 2005-2008, 14V354
  • Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi, Raider, 2006-2007, 14V354
  • Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, 1500, 2003-2008, 14V354
  • Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, 2500, 2005-2008, 14V354
  • Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, 3500, 2006-2008, 14V354
  • Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, 4500, 2006-2008, 14V354
  • Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, 5500, 2008, 14V354
  • Subaru, Subaru, Baja, 2003-2004, 14V399
  • Subaru, Subaru, Impreza, 2004, 14V399
  • Subaru, Subaru, Legacy, 2003-2004, 14V399
  • Subaru, Subaru, Outback, 2003-2004, 14V399
  • Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi, Lancer, 2004-2005, 14V421
  • BMW, BMW, 323i, 2000, 14V428
  • BMW, BMW, 325i, 2001-2006, 14V428
  • BMW, BMW, 325xi, 2001-2005, 14V428
  • BMW, BMW, 328i, 2000, 14V428
  • BMW, BMW, 330i, 2001-2006, 14V428
  • BMW, BMW, 330xi, 2001-2005, 14V428
  • BMW, BMW, M3, 2001-2006, 14V428
  • GM, Saab, 9-2X, 2005, 14V471
  • Subaru, Subaru, Baja, 2003-2005, 14V471
  • Subaru, Subaru, Impreza, 2004-2005, 14V471
  • Subaru, Subaru, Legacy, 2003-2005, 14V471
  • Subaru, Subaru, Outback, 2003-2005, 14V471
  • Toyota, Toyota, Corolla, 2003-2005, 14V655
  • Toyota, Toyota, Matrix, 2003-2005, 14V655
  • Toyota, Lexus, SC, 2002-2005, 14V655
  • Toyota, Toyota, Sequoia, 2002-2005, 14V655
  • Toyota, Toyota, Tundra, 2003-2005, 14V655
  • GM, Pontiac, Vibe, 2003-2005, 14V655

 


Toyota pickup truck recall for possible airbag interference

Posted on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014   

Toyota has announced the recall of around 130,000 Tundra full-size pickup trucks, manufactured at the company’s San Antonio, Texas plant, due to the danger that a plastic trim piece in the vehicles may pose by interfering with the vehicles’ side airbags, the Associated Press reported on September 12.

Toyota will be recalling United States versions of Crew-Max and Double Cab from the 2014 model year because the trim covering the center pillars of these vehicles’ front seats may not have been installed incorrectly, and they may affect how the airbag deploys. Dealers are set to make replacements on the trim of these vehicles, and owners will be notified of the issue by mail.

When a vehicle does not work properly and results in the harm of you or a loved one, seek the legal assistance of the attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP, in Nashville who may help you pursue financial compensation for any damages. Call our offices at (615) 277-2765 today to discuss your situation.


Toyota issues 3 separate recalls

Posted on Friday, May 30th, 2014   

Toyota Motor Corp. issued a recall on May 22 of 516,000 vehicles around the world for three separate vehicle safety issues, FOX WBRC reported.

According to officials from Toyota, there is a possibility that road salt, used in icy conditions that occur in cold climates, can cause corrosion of the spare tire carrier under the vehicle. This could dislodge the tire from its position. Toyota said that although splash protector and anti-corrosion treatment were applied to the vehicles, rusting can still occur. The recall was for 450,000 Sienna minivans of the 2004-2011 model years, which included 370,000 minivans sold in the United States, 80,000 in Canada, and 400 in Europe.

Toyota also recalled 16,000 Lexus GS 250 and 350 sedans of the 2013 model year due to a brake light malfunction that can cause the brakes or brake lights to turn on without the driver’s guidance. Lastly, 50,000 2014 Highlander and Highlander hybrid SUVs were recalled due to airbag deployment issues.

If your life has been put in danger by the use of a faulty or defective product, contact our attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP in Tennessee by dialing 615-277-2765, and learn how we may provide you legal assistance.

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