It has not been a good couple of years for Takata, to say the least.
The automotive airbag company has already been dragged through the public-relations and public-safety mud for the last couple of years as the saga about defective airbags continues to hit the headlines.
The worst part about a recall like this is the public relations hit that are a constant negative drumbeat, as the airbags are sometimes repaired while others are onto in time to prevent a tragedy from occurring. So what should have been addressed two years ago is still a major incident, and more and more lawsuits come to light.
The challenge for Takata comes as it has millions upon millions of airbags to fix due to its widespread defect, and not nearly enough parts available to address them all. So the company takes a risk every day that another car goes on the road with defective airbags and a crash happens.
Then a crash happens. Takata hadn’t’ addressed the airbag in the car, and someone gets seriously injured. Ergo, another lawsuit against the car manufacturers and Takata. Chalk up four more of these lawsuits being added to the pile of them being considered in a federal court in Florida.
These latest lawsuits were originally filed in California, but they were transferred by a federal judicial panel to Florida since they are similar in nature to the lawsuits already under consideration there, due to airbag malfunctions and subsequent injuries that were sustained. There is no reports that nay of the model vehicles were outside the scope of the original recall – which means they were vehicles I line to get repaired by had not yet due to the lack of part supplies.
Takata insist it is doing all it can to make the replacement parts available as quickly as possible, but that the sheer volume of repairs that need to be made (nearly 20 different auto manufacturers are impacted, and most of their cars over more than five model years) makes the task virtually impossible in a small window. So manufacturers have been working to try prioritizing the vehicles that were of higher risk of dysfunction to get them fixed sooner. Of course, though, while we can all predict accidents happening, it’s often difficult to pinpoint which cards specifically would end up in accidents.
The recall is ongoing, so if you have any curiosity about your 2015 model or older vehicle and whether it is subject to recall by your manufacturer because of the Takata airbag, make sur to contact your dealership or you can find several website that post information about Takata airbag recalls, including the ability to enter the VIN of your vehicle and find out if it is part of the recall and what next steps are going forward.