Defective Airbag Injuries

Farrar & Ball is leading the way in litigation involving injuries caused by defective Takata airbags. Our work on behalf of motorists injured by airbag explosions and improper deployments has resulted in heightened scrutiny and new disclosures about the extent of the Takata design defects, resulting in one of the largest automotive recalls in modern history involving more than 30 million cars, trucks and SUVs.

The recall began in April 2013 with six automakers, but the extent of the recall has broadened following a steady stream of new disclosures and admissions from Takata executives regarding the magnitude of the airbag defects. Nearly two dozen automotive brands have now joined the recall.

Our team is leading the charge in federal court, representing a Minnesota woman who was totally blinded when her airbag deployed improperly.

The dangerous design flaw involves airbags that use phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant, and which contain defective inflation and propellant components that are documented to deploy improperly during a collision. The Takata airbags have been known to shoot metal pieces and shrapnel into vehicle occupants. More than 130 airbag explosion injuries have been reported, including at least two deaths. Published reports indicate officials from Takata and from Honda may have known about the product defects more than 10 years before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was finally notified and a proper investigation was initiated.

A long series of misstatements and incomplete disclosures by Takata have led to congressional hearings and a record $70 million fine by the NHTSA. Takata initially blamed the problems on propellant chemicals inside the airbag unit, which it said were mishandled and improperly stored during assembly. Next, Takata blamed humid weather, and later suggested that rust and bad welds were also at fault. Takata documents show that one manufacturing facility in Mexico had a defect rate six to eight times above acceptable limits.

In addition, published reports indicate that Takata engineers and executives were aware of the airbag defect dangers years before alerting authorities. The company reportedly conducted secret tests to verify the problem, but according to a New York Times investigation, Takata ordered its engineers to destroy the data and any physical evidence a full four years before the company publicly acknowledged any safety concerns.

The scope of the safety recall has grown steadily and currently includes models by Acura, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Daimler, Dodge/Ram, Ford, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Subaru, and Toyota.

Farrar & Ball is actively representing individuals injured by defective airbags. The trial team has special expertise investigating these highly technical cases and aggressively pursuing product liability claims against the world’s largest automakers and parts suppliers. Please contact Farrar & Ball for more information about defective airbag litigation.

Video & Visuals

Tire Demo without Nylon Wedge

This video animation demonstrates how steel belts inside a tire without a nylon wedge can generate dangerous amounts of friction. Learn More

Michelin Tire Recommendations

Corporate tire industry video documents safety concerns when two new tires are mounted on back of vehicle. Learn More

Tire Demo with Belt Wedge

This demonstrative evidence video animation is used to show jurors the components of a tire and illustrates how tires without “belt wedges” can generate dangerous friction between the steel belts. Learn More

Modern Tire Diagram

This demonstrative evidence image shows a cross section of a modern tire with liners, belts, nylon overlay and undertread. Learn More

Replacing Tires Guidelines

Corporate tire industry video explains safety and performance issues when only two tires are replaced on a vehicle, and how vehicle handling is affected by placement of tires. Learn More

Tread Separation Test

Video created by Carr Engineering Inc. to document a tread separation test with a Ford Explorer. Test shows that even an expert driver with knowledge that a tread separation event is imminent still cannot maintain control of the vehicle. Learn More

Tire Demo with Nylon Over Wrap

A video animation used as demonstrative evidence to illustrate for jurors the components of a tire, including belts, liners and tread base. This animation demonstrates how two belt liners rubbing together can create friction that leads to tire failure. Learn More

Ford Explorer Crash Testing

Short video documenting an SUV on a test track flipping and rolling, then crashing into a guard rail. Learn More

Nylon Safety Strips

Demonstrative evidence illustration used to explain to jurors the components of a tire designed with nylon safety strips in addition to steel belts. Learn More

Nylon Safety Belt

Side-by-side demonstrative evidence used to explain to jurors the differences between a cap ply tire with a nylon safety belt compared to a traditional steel-belted tire. Learn More

Mercury Mountaineer Tire Testing

Demonstrative evidence showing three different camera angles of a 2001 Mercury Moutaineer performing a controlled maneuver with a defective tire. Learn More

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