Over a decade after the largest automotive recall in history, millions of vehicles across the United States, particularly in Florida, still contain potentially deadly Takata airbags.

Persistent Danger in Florida: Thousands of Vehicles Still Equipped with Hazardous Takata Airbags

Over a decade after the largest automotive recall in history, millions of vehicles across the United States, particularly in Florida, still contain potentially deadly Takata airbags. Despite efforts to alert vehicle owners and repair these airbags, the issue remains unresolved, posing significant risks to drivers and passengers in the Sunshine State.

What is even more concerning is that when these airbags have deployed, they’ve caused significant, sometimes deadly, injuries to the vehicle occupants. Takata airbags continue to remain in the news—let’s take a look at what the experts are saying and how an attorney at Paul | Knopf | Bigger can help you if you’ve been injured as a result of a Takata airbag deployment.

The Scale of the Takata Defective Airbag Recall

A recent report from Carfax highlights the staggering number of vehicles still equipped with unrepaired Takata airbags. Approximately 6.4 million vehicles nationwide have these defective airbags, a decade after the recall was initiated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) corroborates this figure, listing 6,171,267 vehicles with unrepaired Takata airbags as of the latest update. Despite over 45 million airbags being repaired, a substantial number still needs to be fixed.

With the announcement in January 2020 of the final batch of vehicles containing defective Takata airbags, the two-decade-long Takata recall may finally end. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to a defective Takata airbag, please get in touch with Paul | Knopf | Bigger.

High-Risk Zones: Florida in Focus for Takata Airbags

The danger is particularly acute in high heat and humidity states, exacerbating the airbag defect. Florida is one of the states classified as Zone A by the NHTSA, indicating it poses the highest threat to safety due to these environmental factors. Carfax data reveals that a significant portion of the more than 2.5 million unfixed vehicles in high-risk states are in Florida.

A recent analysis shows that 62,000 of these unfixed airbags are alone in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The record heat and humidity experienced in Florida could be especially problematic for the impacted airbags, increasing the risk of explosive ruptures.

The Danger Explained

The defect in Takata airbags stems from long-term exposure to moisture, which can cause the airbag inflators to explode upon deployment. This explosion can turn the metal components of the airbag into shrapnel, leading to severe injuries or fatalities. Patrick Olsen, Editor-in-Chief at Carfax, explains, “Moisture builds up inside that airbag inflator, and the more moisture that gets in there, the greater the explosive force when the airbag ignites.”

The Human Cost

The defective airbags have already been linked to at least 25 deaths and hundreds of injuries. Olsen emphasizes the ongoing risk, noting that many affected vehicles are over 20 years old, often in the hands of second, third, or even fourth owners, including many teen drivers who might not be aware of the recalls.

Recent Developments in Takata Airbags

Recently, Nissan issued a “do not drive” warning for over 80,000 older vehicles due to defective Takata airbag inflators. This warning affects specific models and years, including the 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra, 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder, and 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4. According to Nissan, one person has died, and 58 others have been injured due to ruptures related to these airbag inflators.

A complete list of all vehicles affected by the Takata defective airbag recall can be located here.

Does My Vehicle Have a Defective Takata Airbag?

Taking Action if You Have a Takata Airbag

For vehicle owners in Florida concerned about the presence of Takata airbags in their cars, there are several steps to take:

  1. Check for Recalls: Use your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the NHTSA’s website to check for any recalls.
  2. Consult the NHTSA’s List: Review the list of affected vehicles sorted by make.
  3. Contact Your Dealer: Contact your local dealer to arrange a free repair.
  4. Stay Informed: Sign up for recall alerts to stay updated on any future recalls.

The NHTSA’s dedicated Takata airbag recall page provides comprehensive information and resources for vehicle owners. Ensuring your vehicle is safe and free from these dangerous airbags is crucial for your safety and that of your passengers, especially in Florida’s challenging climate.

Legal Recourse for Takata Airbag Victims in Florida

Victims of defective airbags have the right to seek legal compensation. To establish a viable legal case, it must be demonstrated that the manufacturer knew or should have known about the defect. Legal avenues include:

  • Lawsuits: Filing a claim against the manufacturer for design flaws or manufacturing defects.
  • Settlements: Negotiating a compensation agreement outside of court.

Steps to Pursue a Legal Case

  1. Consult an Attorney: Seek a lawyer experienced in defective airbag cases to evaluate the viability of your claim.
  2. Gather Evidence: Compile medical records, accident reports, and any recall notices related to the airbag.
  3. File a Claim: Your attorney will help you file a lawsuit or negotiate a settlement based on the evidence and circumstances of your case.

Hiring a Qualified Defective Airbag Attorney

Navigating the complexities of defective airbag lawsuits requires specialized legal expertise. A qualified attorney with our firm can:

  • Evaluate Your Case: Determine the strength and potential success of your claim.
  • Guide You Through the Legal Process: Explain statutes of limitations, procedural requirements, and legal strategies.
  • Secure Compensation: Work towards obtaining the maximum compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Paul | Knopf | Bigger - Florida Injury Attorneys

Paul | Knopf | Bigger – Florida Injury Attorneys

At Paul | Knopf | Bigger, we specialize in handling defective airbag cases. Our experienced team is dedicated to securing justice and compensation for victims. If a defective airbag has injured you or a loved one, contact us for a free legal review and consultation.

The recent recall and “do not drive” warning from Nissan highlight the ongoing danger of defective Takata airbags. With millions of vehicles still on the road with these hazardous components, it is imperative for vehicle owners to act swiftly and seek repairs. Legal avenues are available for those affected by defective airbags, and professional legal assistance can help victims navigate their rights and obtain the compensation they deserve.

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