As the Takata airbag scandal broadens to include more than 69 million U.S. vehicles linked to at least 10 fatalities, new reports confirm that Honda officials quietly requested a design change years before the defects were publicized but did not notify U.S. regulators about the safety dangers.
According to Reuters, Honda’s actions show that the automaker understood the safety risks posed by defective Takata inflators long before Takata started expanding recalls by the millions starting in 2014. Reuters reports that a request from Honda to Takata came in August 2009 after four injuries and one death had already been linked to the faulty inflators.
U.S. law requires automakers to disclose safety risks and actions to present them to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, Honda claims it was not bound to notify NHTSA because that would have been Takata’s responsibility as the parts supplier.
According to Farrar & Ball automotive defects lawyers, the revelation could further expose Honda to legal liability in dozens lawsuits for deaths and injuries caused by defective Takata airbags.
The Farrar & Ball trial team is actively representing individuals and family members of those who have been injured or killed by defective Takata airbag inflators.