Automakers Knew Takata Airbags Were Dangerous: Ford, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota Sold Cars Anyway

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Airbag Deployed

Victims of Takata’s infamous defective airbags have alleged that Ford, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota knew these airbags were dangerous since the late 1990’s—but sold their cars anyway. The new class action lawsuit was filed in Miami, Florida’s federal district court on February 27, 2017. The lawsuit claims Honda experienced dangerous failures caused by design defects during its own testing in 1999 and 2000, 15 years before finally recalling the products. Other manufacturers sold the airbags for years after being made aware of the defects—half a decade before the defective airbags became the subject of the largest product recall in history.

The new lawsuit claims that Plaintiffs have concrete evidence these manufacturers “were aware of how dangerous and risky Takata’s inflators were, but continued to use them anyway because they were cheap.” These recent revelations come just as Takata pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges stemming from the cover-up, and agreeing to pay a fine of $1 Billion. Takata’s top executives continue to face charges for personally falsifying test data for profit. The defective airbags sold in hundreds of thousands of popular vehicles in the United States have been linked to hundreds of deaths and injuries over the past two decades.

Recent product recalls, like those for Takata Airbags and GM ignition switches, have shed new light on the potential for trusted manufacturers to knowingly conceal dangerous defects in their products.

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Tabuchi, Hiroko, and Neal E. Boudette. “Automakers Knew of Takata Airbag Hazard for Years, Suit Says.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 27 Feb. 2017. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.

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