Takata, a Japanese airbag company, pled guilty in a $1 billion deal with the US Justice Department affecting Houston drivers.
When corporations knowingly cover up potentially deadly defects in their products, consumers suffer the consequences – serious injuries and fatalities. The U.S. Justice Department has dropped the hammer on one such company which affects Houston & Texas drivers.
An Important Update in the Takata Airbag Scandal
Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata pled guilty to a felony charge in a Detroit federal court in February as part of a $1 billion deal with the U.S. Justice Department. According to the Daily Mail, Takata admitted to trying to conceal the defect in airbags that exploded and sent shrapnel into the faces and throats of drivers, resulting in 16 deaths and over 100 injuries. The felony charge was for wire fraud in association with payments received across state lines for defective parts.
Three Takata executives have been charged with falsifying test results to conceal the defect.
All told, ten auto makers recalled more than 31 million vehicles for the airbag defect since 2008, the largest recall by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ever. Consumer Reports estimates as many as 70 million airbags may be involved, and only a fraction—13 million, have been replaced.
Does the Settlement Go Far Enough?
Attorneys for some of the victims were not pleased with the agreement between the Justice Department and Takata, claiming that some automakers knew about the defect and continued to use the airbags. This deal allows them wiggle room to avoid responsibility.
The fund is made up of $850 million set aside for auto makers to compensate for the cost of recalls and $125 million for victims who have not already reached a settlement with Takata.
Companies Cannot Risk Consumers’ Lives for Profits
It is unconscionable that manufacturers would knowingly conceal known defects in their products that can maim and kill people. Companies should be brought to justice and victims and families compensated for their terrible losses, whether it involves airbags or any other product causing harm.
Our Houston product liability lawyers can help. At The Callahan Law Firm, we represented surviving family members of a 35 year old Texas man – a husband and father – who suffered fatal injuries because of a defective Takata airbag. Our technical expertise including the engineering background of Michael S. Callahan, and connections to qualified experts are critical assets when attempting to get justice for harm caused by a recalled Takata Airbag.
For a free consultation in relation to a defective Takata airbag that has caused injury to you or a loved one, contact our office today.