As reports of serious injuries and the number of recalled autos attributed to Takata airbags continues to grow, a new danger has been linked to these allegedly defective and dangerous auto parts. Now Nissan is claiming that a defective Takata airbag caused a vehicle fire after a minor crash in Japan.
According to an article featured by Reuters, a Nissan spokesman said on Wednesday, July 8 that the driver of a Nissan X-Trail sports utility vehicle was alone in the vehicle when it was hit on the driver side. A Takata airbag deployed with such force that the window on the passenger side of the vehicle was shattered and hot fragments of metal lodged in the dashboard where they ignited. Additionally, the driver of the vehicle suffered a minor burn on the cheek.
Last week, Honda added 4.5 million vehicles to their list of recalls issued to address defective Takata airbags. That brings the total number of Honda vehicles recalled to 24.5 million and the total number of vehicles by all automakers to 57.5 million. All recalls have been issued to address flaws in Takata-made airbags, which may deploy so forcefully that they send deadly shrapnel flying throughout a vehicle cabin. So far, Nissan has recalled 4.4 million cars with faulty Takata airbags.
To date, 100 serious injuries and at least 8 deaths have been attributed to Takata airbags. Most or all of these injuries and deaths have involved lacerations, so this new claim of fire caused by a Takata airbag malfunction may pave the way for many more claims.
The vehicle involved in the fire in Japan was included in Nissan recalls issued to address Takata airbags, but it is not currently clear whether the driver was aware of the recall. A recent article in ABC News stated that so many vehicles have now been recalled that it may take a number of years to manufacture enough airbags to fix them all.
A number of experts expect the number of individuals injured by Takata airbag explosions to increase, and federal regulators have already put pressure on Takata to set aside a victim compensation fund. If you or someone you love has been injured or even suffered wrongful death due to a faulty Takata airbag or another dangerous or defective auto part, you may be due substantial compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. For more information, contact our auto product liability lawyers to schedule a free consultation.