Safety is a top priority to car manufacturers. While the designers of modern cars surely do care about their customers, they also certainly want to avoid the costly auto defect class actions that many car companies have faced in recent years. Many times, a company will recall certain vehicle models to intercept the issues before tragedy strikes. Surprisingly, for those California car owners with Takata airbags, this recall has not seemed to be urgent enough to complete the recall repairs.
The recent recall of Takata airbags affected several car manufacturers, including Honda Motor Company. Because of a faulty inflator, the airbags tend to deploy without warning and with great force, sending an explosion of chemicals and metal shards into the faces of drivers and passengers. Although only a relatively small number of injuries and deaths had been reported worldwide, the danger prompted the biggest auto recall event in U.S. history.
Honda recently confirmed that the 20th person died as a result of an airbag explosion. This tragedy comes on the heels of reports that the recall is not even halfway complete, with only 43 percent of affected vehicles repaired. Honda's rate of repair is among the highest with 65 percent. Still, the company has even vowed to go door to door to remind owners of its vehicles to tend to their repairs as quickly as possible to avoid potential injury.
California consumers with certain Takata airbags in their vehicles have a 50 percent chance that the airbags will explode, according to tests. They can be grateful for recalls that allow them to have the auto defect repaired without cost. Nevertheless, car owners who suffer injuries because of such defects may have grounds for legal recourse.
Source: fireengineering.com, "Honda reports 20th death from exploding Takata air bag", Tom Krisher, Dec. 19, 2017