Takata Airbag lawsuit: News And Updates
Honda Settles In Takata Airbag MDL
In a significant development in multidistrict litigation (MDL) relating to faulty airbags manufactured by Takata, a Florida District Court approved a $605 million settlement among Honda Motor Co. and owners of Honda vehicles affected by the defective devices. Honda becomes the sixth automaker to settle in the MDL, leaving only Ford Motor Company as the remaining plaintiff.
The allegations in the MDL date back years and relate to a design defect in the Takata airbags, which potentially resulted in ammonium nitrate within the devices firing accidentally, particularly in situations with high humidity. The misfirings resulted in shrapnel spraying throughout the passenger cabin, which resulted in serious injuries to drivers and passengers.
Automakers Suburu, Toyota, Mazda, and BMW all settled their claims and exited the MDL in May 2017, agreeing to pay a collective $553.6 million. Nissan settled separately a few months later, paying out $98 million.
The $605 million Honda payout will cover $121 million in attorney’s fees, efforts to inform affected customers of the need to replace the defective airbags (some of which remain on the road), and reimbursements to customers for out-of-pocket expenses related to having their airbags replaced, including child-care costs.
Takata filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2017, as it faced billions or even trillions of dollars in potential liability over the defective airbags, which were sold to a variety of automakers and were installed in millions of vehicles around the world. The issue demonstrates the potential challenges for quality assurance within a complex global supply chain.
There had been some contention among the plaintiffs with regards to the amount of the settlement to be distributed as legal fees. While the attorneys behind the June 2017 settlement were provided with 30% of the total settlement amount, in the Honda settlement, those fees were reduced to 20% based on a court’s finding of some duplicative work among the different suits.
Have you or a loved one been injured by a defectively designed motor vehicle or motor-vehicle component? Have you suffered harm from an automobile or commercial trucking accident? The expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com are standing by now for a free consultation.
Judge Issues 90-Day Freeze on Takata Airbag Lawsuits
A judge in Delaware has issued a 90-day freeze on the hundreds of lawsuits pending against Takata, the manufacturer of airbags that have been linked to about a dozen deaths and numerous injuries. The freeze comes so that the company may focus on restructuring itself after declaring bankruptcy in both the U.S. and Japan.
Unaffected by the freeze is a case against Takata in Florida that is already underway.
The stay puts a halt on collection efforts and litigation unless otherwise approved by a bankruptcy court. Takata has asked for, and has received, permission to extend the stay to which it is entitled so that it may extend its protection to other defendants in the case. Takata, however, asked for a 180-day freeze, yet received a freeze of 90 days. The company is entitled to request an extension.
If you’ve been injured by a Takata airbag, or if you believe that your Takata-equipped vehicle may cause you physical harm, you may be entitled to be part of one of the many lawsuits against Takata. Contact TheLawFirm.com to learn how we can help you navigate this complex case.
Australian Car Crash Death Linked to Takata Airbag
Australian police have said they believe that a faulty Takata airbag was responsible for the death of man in a recent traffic collision in Sydney.
The unnamed driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators have suggested that his death was caused by the ejection of a small object from the airbag, which then struck him in the neck.
If the motorist’s death was caused by a faulty Takata airbag, it would be the first such death reported in Australia. At least 12 such deaths have been reported in the U.S.
Takata’s airbags are the focus of the single largest automotive product recall in American history. The airbags’ chief defect is that their inflators use a compound called ammonium nitrate, a volatile substance that tends to misfire. Any misfirings may create shrapnel that can injure or kill drivers and/or passengers.
In the face of massive recalls, lawsuits, and public outcry, Takata recently declared bankruptcy in the U.S. as well as in Japan.
The Sydney crash in still under investigation.
If you’ve been injured by a Takata airbag, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com to learn how we can help you with your case.
Expert Urges Judge to Press Honda Engineer to Testify in Takata Trial
A so-called “special master” in the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) case about Takata airbags has urged a federal judge in Florida to compel the deposition of a Honda engineer who remarked that he knew “the truth” about the airbags’ allegedly defective inflators, which have been implicated in a number of deaths and injuries.
Legal expert Ryan K. Stumphauzer argued that Honda engineer Takeru Fukuda, a 25-year veteran of the company, should testify in order to get to the bottom of the Takata case. In 2013, Fukuda said that, if he revealed certain information to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency would issue a “complete reversal” concerning Takata’s airbags, which had been installed in millions of cars by numerous automakers.
Plaintiffs in the MDL allege that Takata used the cheap but volatile compound ammonium nitrate in its airbag inflators, and that the substance made the devices prone to explosion.
Honda has stated that it is not obligated to compel Fukuda to testify, but that, if Fukuda does choose to do so, it will work with him to comply with any ruling. Fukuda is the last remaining witness to a 1999 test of Takata’s airbag inflators in which the device failed unexpectedly. Stumphauzer argues that the 1999 test is of great relevant to the ongoing Takata trial.
In the face of the unprecedentedly large recall, and the various lawsuits currently pending against it, Takata recently declared bankruptcy in the U.S. and in Japan.
If your health and safety have been jeopardized by a malfunctioning airbag, or any other defective automotive part, you may have a case. Contact TheLawFirm.com today for a free consultation.
Takata Will Recall Even More Airbag Inflators
As if its current problems with bankruptcy, corruption, lawsuits, and decimated public opinion weren’t enough, embattled airbag manufacturer Takata has announced that it will recall an additional 2.7 million airbag inflators that have been installed in Ford, Mazda, and Nissan vehicles.
Faulty Takata airbag inflators have been linked with at least 11 deaths in the U.S. The company, whose products are the subject of the largest automotive recall in American history, recently declared bankruptcy after agreeing to pay a fine of $1 billion in a criminal lawsuit.
Takata is recalling the new wave of airbag inflators because Ford, Mazda, and Nissan conducted tests that indicate that the devices are at risk of the explosions that have injured and killed many drivers and passengers. The devices did not fail per se in the tests, but demonstrated telltale signs of imminent failure.
The affected vehicles include around 6000 Mazda B-series trucks, more than 627,000 Nissan Versas, and an unspecified number of Ford vehicles.
If your health, or that of someone you love, has been put in jeopardy by a faulty Takata airbag, or any other piece of defective automotive technology, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com to learn how we can help you.
Committee Appointed to Study Takata Bankruptcy Case
July 17, 2017
A committee has been appointed to study the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Takata, the beleaguered manufacturer of the defective airbags that were the subject of the largest automotive product recall in American history. Unusually for such committees, some of its members are people who have filed personal injury suits against Takata and the automakers that had installed its airbags.
Takata airbags have been linked to at least 11 deaths. As a result of the numerous suits filed against it about their defective airbags, the company recently filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. and in Japan. Liabilities against the company – most of which are yet to be determined – are greater than its assets.
Claimants have been included on the committee precisely to ensure that their interests are represented in the bankruptcy procedure. As well, in such cases, claimants legal fees’ are typically covered by the bankruptcy settlement.
The committee was established by the U.S. Trustee’s Office, and will oversee claims against Takata that are estimated to be in the range of $10 to $50 billion.
If you’ve been injured by a defective airbag – or any other defective automotive component – contact TheLawFirm.com to learn how we can help you.
Drivers Urge Court to Reject Honda’s Defense Request in Takata Airbag Trial
A group of Honda drivers in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) case have urged the judge in a Florida federal court to reject a defense that Honda Motor Company wishes to use in the case. The case concerns the faulty airbags manufactured by Takata and installed into Honda vehicles; Honda submitted a motion to use Takata’s guilty plea as part of its own defense.
For Honda to incorporate Takata’s guilty plea into its defense in the case would, the plaintiffs allege, serve to portray Honda as a “victim” in the eyes of the jury. Plaintiffs also suggested that such a defense would constitute “hearsay.” The plaintiffs seek damages from Honda in this particular case.
The plaintiffs in the case allege that Honda participated in a cover-up, and was in fact complicit with Takata in concealing the facts of the defective airbags from consumers’ knowledge. They assert that they have evidence that Honda was in fact aware of the airbags’ defective natures, a fact that would negate the value of Honda’s use of Takata’s own guilty plea.
The case is ongoing in the Florida court system.
If you have been injured by defective automotive products, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact TheLawFirm.com to learn how we can help you.
Troubled Airbag Maker Takata Files for Bankruptcy
Takata, the airbag manufacturer whose products have been implicated in a large number of injuries – and the resulting lawsuits – has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware. Its Japanese parent company has also filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo.
The company has reached a deal to sell most of its assets to auto parts supplier Key Safety Systems for $1.6 billion. KSS has indicated that it will keep on most Takata employees, and that it will not close of the company’s manufacturing plants in Japan.
Takata’s airbags, which have been installed in the vehicles of numerous major auto manufacturers, have been linked to at least 11 deaths, and have spurred the single largest recall in the history of the American auto industry. The airbags are alleged to explode due to misfires in their inflators.
In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) imposed on Takata the largest fine it had ever issued: $200 million. In that deal, Takata admitted to concealing from the agency its knowledge of the airbags’ fundamental – and potentially fatal – defect.
If you’ve been injured by a defective vehicle, contact the expert attorneys atTheLawFirm.com. We can help you.
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