NHTSA Investigates VW Takata Airbag Incident
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on August 19, 2015 in Product Recalls
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it is expanding its probe into Takata airbags after a side airbag ruptured in a 2015 Volkswagen (VW) Tiguan SUV in June.
Earlier this year, more than 30 million vehicles made by 11 automakers were recalled for defective Takata airbags that could rupture and explode violently during a crash. The airbags, which use an ammonium nitrate inflator, have been linked to more than 100 injuries and at least eight deaths.
VW, which was not included in the massive recall, believes that the latest incident is unrelated to the previous recalls, which tests have shown were the result of aging and extended exposure to heat and high humidity. Those recalls linked the deaths and injuries to vehicles that had been on the road for a decade or more. The VW vehicle in question, however, is a recent model.
In June, a Takata-made side airbag in the VW Tiguan ruptured after the driver hit a deer in Missouri. According to reports, the driver did not seek medical attention and no police report was filed.
Since VW first reported the incident to the NHTSA last month, the administration has issued special orders to both VW and Takata. The orders require that VW turn over documents and any information about the rupture, information about any other ruptures that have occurred in other VW vehicles, as well as a list of vehicles that have ever been made with airbag inflators containing ammonium nitrate inflators.
Takata has been asked to provide the NHTSA with a list of all inflators and airbag modules made with ammonium nitrate as well as a list of which automakers purchased those products. Despite the controversy surrounding the use of the chemical in airbags, Takata continued using it earlier this year.
The investigation calls into question if all vehicles that use an ammonium nitrate propellant should be recalled.
Our team of personal injury attorneys at Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice have been following the Takata situation from the very beginning and are prepared to help those who have been injured because of the negligence of this company.
If you have suffered because of a defective airbag or any other bad product, do not hesitate to contact our team of legal professionals to set up a free consultation to review your case. Call 877-877-2228 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.