The nationwide recall of Takata airbags has affected many vehicle owners in New Jersey and the rest of the United States. Covering approximately 24 million vehicles, the Takata recall has been the largest U.S. vehicle recall in history. Despite warnings from auto manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are still some vehicles that have not had their defective airbags repaired.
On March 31, a 17-year-old girl driving a 2002 Honda Civic was killed after the vehicle's Takata airbag ruptured during a minor collision. After rear-ending the car in front of her, the girl was struck in the neck by a metal fragment that tore through the ruptured airbag. A witness to the accident said that the girl exited her car and then collapsed. The incident marks the 11th fatality worldwide caused by a defective Takata airbag.
The decedent was driving a 2002 Honda Civic at the time of her death. The Honda Civic, along with numerous other Honda and Acura models, had a recall on its Takata airbag. Though Honda claims that the registered owner of the vehicle was sent multiple notices about the airbag defect, the decedent's family claims that they did not receive any recall notices. Since March 11, there have been 7.5 million airbag repairs related to the Takata recall, according to Safercar.gov.
In many cases, a recall is announced years after the affected vehicles were manufactured. If a car was involved in an accident before it was recalled, injured victims may not be aware that defective vehicle parts played a role. An attorney can review the existing evidence to determine whether sufficient grounds exist to pursue a products liability claim.