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Exploding Takata Airbags Could Cost Company Up To $200M In Fines

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may issue fines of up to $200 million as punishment for the exploding Takata airbags that have led to eight deaths. The agency has already fined the manufacturer $70 million over the exploding Takata airbags that have also been blamed for nearly 100 injuries. The fines mark the largest such civil penalty the agency has issued to an auto manufacturer in its 45-year history.

Details of Exploding Takata Airbags

The story of the exploding Takata airbags began earlier this year. Investigations by the NHTSA and other safety agencies found that the airbags could explode when deployed, especially in humid conditions. The exploding Takata airbags would propel metal and plastic shrapnel into the bodies of drivers and passengers. The company issued a partial recall in states with high humidity readings, but some automakers that used Takata airbags issued nationwide safety recalls.

Injuries From Exploding Takata Airbags

At least eight fatalities and nearly 100 serious injuries have been attributed to the exploding Takata airbags. In one case, a Florida woman was involved in a collision while driving her Honda Accord. The collisions caused the exploding Takata airbags to deploy, sending metal shards into her body. Police at the scene initially believed that she had been slashed with a knife and suspected a potential homicide. Laboratory tests later revealed that the propellant from the airbag caused the deployment assembly system to explode.

Exploding Takata Airbags Found in Millions of Vehicles

The NHTSA has ordered a nationwide recall for vehicles that could carry the exploding Takata airbags. The recall covers 19 million vehicles, the largest vehicle safety recall in history. Many Japanese automakers installed the exploding Takata airbags, including at least 6 million Honda cars and trucks. Nearly every major American automaker also installed Takata airbags in their vehicles, including Ford, Fiat Chrysler, and General Motors. German auto manufacturers BMW and Daimler also installed Takata airbags in their vehicles.

Fines for Exploding Takata Airbags

The initial $70 million in fines stems from the manufacturer’s slow response to news of the exploding Takata airbags. Takata officials reportedly attempted to cover up internal research studies of the exploding Takata airbags. When the news hit the mainstream press, the company hesitated to launch a nationwide recall. The NHTSA is calling on Takata to replace the defective airbags free of charge. If the company fails to follow the agency’s plan to speed up the recall process, Takata could face fines of up to $200 million.

Sources: USA Today, CBS News

Know Your Rights in an Exploding Takata Airbags Lawsuit

To find out how we can help you with an exploding Takata airbags lawsuit, contact us today at 877-892-2797. Our friendly staff will ask a few questions about your case and connect you to an attorney who specializes in cases concerning the exploding Takata airbags. You can also fill out the “Free Case Evaluation” form at the top of this page.

NOTE: This blog post is a news story and does not constitute and endorsement of the Amaro Law Firm by any parties mentioned herein.