The Takata Airbag Defect: History's Largest Recall

This year, one of the biggest news stories regarding consumer safety wasn’t about exploding Samsungs. Rather, it was about an airbag manufacturer’s defect that went unnoticed for years—until increasing lawsuits forced the manufacturer to recall their product. The number of affected vehicles?

Over 100 million.

Takata Airbags, like many airbag units, uses cartridges of rapidly expanding gas in order to inflate airbags within seconds. For all intents and purposes, it is a controlled explosion contained by the airbag itself, allowing it to cushion passengers in the blink of an eye.

The problem with Takata’s airbags is that their cartridge is nitrate-based without a chemical drying agent. In layman’s terms, high temperatures, aging vehicles, or excessive humidity can cause the cartridge to “ignite” without warning. It also causes the airbag to inflate badly, which can launch shrapnel into the passenger’s face.

Over 14 major car manufacturers used defective Takata units from 2002 to 2015, including BMW, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Ford, and others. In the U.S. alone, it is believed that over 100 people have been injured by Takata airbags…and 11 have been killed.

What to Do If You Have a Car with a Takata Airbag

If you bought a car from any of the 14 auto manufacturers affected by the recall from 2002 to 2015, then you might have a defective airbag/time-bomb in your steering wheel. Go to and use their recall tool to search your car’s make and model.

If you have a recall for your vehicle, bring it to your dealer immediately.

Recall regulations state that you should receive a replacement for your vehicle’s airbag system at no cost to you. If you would rather have a refund on your vehicle, your dealer may be able to give you back the estimated value of your vehicle (or put it toward a car without a Takata airbag).

If You’ve Been Injured by a Takata Airbag

You may be entitled to compensation for the medical costs and lost wages incurred by your injuries. Our team is currently representing cases against Takata and their negligent treatment of consumers in Pasadena and all over the U.S. Contact us for a free consultation regarding your injuries to find out if you have a case.

Visit this page for information about what cars have been recalled, and visit to find out if your car currently has a recall on it.

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