In 1998, a federal law went into effect requiring that all cars and trucks sold in the United States have airbags on both sides of the front seat. Despite the massive demand for airbag technology, just three major suppliers dominate the market. Defective airbags manufactured by one of these key players, Japanese supplier Takata have now caused three more automakers Honda, Nissan and Mazda to recall a total of almost three million vehicles. A breakdown of last week’s recall is as follows:
Honda – 2.03 million vehicles (1.02 million in the United States). These models were built between 2000 and 2005 and include popular models such as the Civic, CR-V and Element.
Nissan – 755,000 vehicles sold worldwide. These include the popular Pathfinder, Cube and Infiniti FX35 models manufactured between 2000 and 2003.
Mazda - 160,000 vehicles (15,000 sold in the United States). The vehicles with the defective part were manufactured between 2002 and 2004 and include the popular Mazda 6 sedans.
Over the past 5 years, nearly 10 million vehicles have been recalled due to these defective safety devices. Earlier this month, Toyota recalled 2.3 million vehicles for the problem part. Last year, BMW recalled 3.6 million vehicles for the same problem with Takata-made airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contends that the airbags can rupture and injure passengers with flying shrapnel.
Takata currently supplies airbags to seven major global automakers and many have speculated that Chrysler and Ford may soon issue their own recalls due to the defective safety device. The manufacturer believes that the issue occurred from moisture that seeped inside the inflators. In addition to improperly storing the devices, Takata is being criticized for faulty record keeping which has forced automakers to widen recalls to ensure they are able to identify all affected vehicles.
If you have recently purchased a new or used vehicle with defective safety gear including seatbelts, air bags, antilock brakes or accident avoidance systems in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you should contact a Lemon Law attorney for a consultation today.