Some of the largest automakers in the world recalled millions of vehicles that contain Takata’s defective airbag inflators, which could rupture without warning. When these inflators rupture, the metal casing fractures and spews shrapnel into the vehicle cabin. Takata airbag inflators are responsible for more than 20 deaths worldwide and countless injuries.
If you live in an area with high temperatures and humidity, like Alabama, then you are at an even greater risk of suffering harm. Takata airbag inflators use ammonium nitrate as an accelerant, which becomes unstable when exposed to high levels of heat and humidity over a long period of time. Automakers prioritized recalls in states with hot temperatures and humidity because of this risk.
You are at greater risk of suffering a serious or fatal injury if your vehicle contains a Takata airbag. Alabama residents cannot afford to ignore this recall. Unfortunately, more than 41 million vehicles are included in the recall.
Airbags are one of the most important safety features in your vehicle. If your airbags are defective, then you and other passengers are at risk of death or serious injury during a collision – even a minor one if your vehicle has defective Takata airbags.
How to Use NHTSA’s Site to Check for Recalls
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a tool on its website that allows you to check for open recalls. However, you will need to grab your 17-digit vehicle identification number, also called a VIN, before you can use the site’s search tool. Most people can find the VIN on their insurance card, vehicle paperwork or on the driver’s side near the dashboard.
Once you have the VIN, you can type it into NHTSA’s recall search tool. If your vehicle has an open recall, it is likely to show up in the search results. NHTSA’s search tool does not cover certain types of foreign vehicles. It also does not always cover very recently announced recalls.
There is a possibility that you will or have received a notice directly from the vehicle’s manufacturer if your vehicle is part of the Takata airbag recall. This is because federal laws require manufacturers to inform consumers of open recalls.
Actor Morgan Freeman recently sponsored the launch of a new website, safeairbags.com. The site was created with the assistance of NHTSA. Another site, airbagrecall.com, allows you to upload a photograph of your license plate to determine whether your vehicle has a defective Takata airbag.
Manufacturers must fix recalled vehicles at no cost to consumers. You should contact your dealership for instructions on where to receive free repairs if your vehicle has a defective Takata airbag.
If you or a loved one suffered harm due to a Takata airbag, then you may have legal options to recover compensation for your damages. Compensation from a jury verdict or settlement can help you and your family pay for expenses associated with a serious injury or death. For instance, a settlement or verdict could help you pay for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income and loss of future earning capacity. Noneconomic damages, also called pain and suffering damages, may also be factored into compensation you receive.
Tommy James is a Birmingham personal injury lawyer with extensive experience taking on large corporations who release dangerous products, including automakers. You can learn more about his history of successful cases on our website. For a free consultation with Tommy James Law, call (205) 259-7850 or use the online case review form on our site.