Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler August 18, 2015

The global Takata airbag recall expanded on May 8, 2015, with more than 6.5 million additional vehicles being recalled by Toyota, Honda and Nissan. In all, 17 million vehicles in America and 36 million vehicles worldwide have been recalled by automakers for Takata airbag defects since recalls began in 2008.

Further, Takata itself has finally declared 33.8 million of its airbags currently used U.S. automobiles to be defective, nearly doubling what is becoming the largest auto recall in United States history. For years Takata has denied responsibility for airbag accidents. But after being pressured by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Department of Transportation, it officially declared its airbags defective on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.

Specifically, these defects involve airbag inflators in metal canisters exploding to send shards of metal, plastic or shrapnel flying through vehicles, injuring or even killing drivers and passengers.

Six Fatalities Linked to Takata Airbags

Among the world’s biggest airbag manufacturers, Japan-based Takata says it initially recognized defects over 10 years ago in terms of the chemical mix, causing the airbags to be inflated with excessive force upon a car’s impact in a traffic accident.

According to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, 105 injuries have been connected to the defect, although this number may actually be even higher. The New York Times, who claims Takata knew about possible defects even earlier than 2005, claims 139 injuries have directly resulted from faulty airbags.

In fact, at least six fatalities have been linked to Takata’s defective airbags, perhaps the most recent involving a Houston resident by the name of Carlos Solis. On Jan. 25, 2015, Solis, 35, was involved in a relatively minor traffic accident in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, when his 2002 Honda Accord’s airbag exploded with excessive force upon impact.

Though the crash was minor, Solis suffered severe wounds to his neck from an exploding defective airbag and bled to death. He’d purchased the vehicle from another owner and never received the recall notice.

In reporting on Solis’ death, the New York Times said many used cars have safety defects but have not been repaired, and many new owners are not notified of previous recalls. Federal laws, the Times reports, do not require used-car dealers to repair vehicles with safety defects or to disclose to customers that a vehicle has been recalled.

This puts the burden on used car purchasers to check and see if they’re part of a recall. That can be done by running their VIN through a federal safety database, as with SaferCar.gov, or by contacting its manufacturer.

Toyota, Honda and Nissan Recall Nearly 11.5 Million Vehicles

The latest airbag recalls by automakers include popular models from Toyota, Honda and Nissan. A complete list of Takata airbag recalls by make and model can be found at Edmunds.com.

Toyota reportedly recalled 5 million vehicles across 35 different models from around the world to have the front driver’s side inflators replaced. 637,000 of these Toyota models were sold in the United States and 18,000 were sold in Canada. The U.S. Toyota airbag recalls included 160,000 RAV4 vehicles from model years 2004-2005.

An expanded Toyota recall first issued in April of 2013 involves 177,000 Sequoia SUVs from 2004 and Tundra pickups from 2003-2004. Their front passenger side airbag inflators will be replaced.

According to Bloomberg News, Nissan’s airbag recall includes more than 1.5 million vehicles worldwide, manufactured from 2004-2007. Such recalls were made from all 50 states, expanding an earlier Nissan recall which was targeted only at high-humidity areas.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the North American Nissan has recalled 326,000 cars, with 250,967 Nissan Sentra compact cars from 2004-2006 and 12,725 Nissan Pathfinders from model year 2004.

Nissan reports no crashes, injuries or deaths have been attributed to defective airbags in its vehicles. Customers will be alerted in June about the Nissan airbag recall.

As for Honda, Automotive News reports an additional 4.89 million vehicles have been recalled in various parts of the world for airbag defects. However, none of those vehicles were sold in North America.

Honda has recalled the most vehicles for defective airbags of any manufacturer, a total of 19.6 million automobiles, of which 8.2 million were sold in the U.S. According to Honda, it will replace Takata-manufactured driver-side and passenger-side airbag inflators with inflators created by Japan’s Daicel and Sweden’s Autoliv.

Takata has since commissioned German research group Fraunhofer Society to determine the cause of airbag defects. Ten auto manufacturers hired defense and aerospace company Orbital ATK to test possibly defective Takata airbag inflators and determine whether a recall was necessary.

High Humidity Contributes to Defect

Since high humidity is believed to contribute to defective airbags, Gulf Coast states and other areas with high humidity are getting another 300,000 Toyota recalls, in this case for the 2005-2006 Tundra and 2005-2007 Matrix, Corolla, Lexus SC 430 and Sequoia. The affected regions include Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Hawaii and some American territories.

Research has shown how moisture intrusion into airbag inflators could make airbags “susceptible to abnormal deployment in a crash.” Such moisture intrusion could make airbag inflator propellant lose density, Toyota said, thereby increasing the danger of a rupture.

Toyota will replace driver-side airbag inflators with inflators made by Japan’s Daicel Inc. and will replace passenger-side inflators with replacements made by Takata itself. Some of the choices for replacement parts were made due to speed of delivery.

See If Your Vehicle Has Been Recalled

Consumer Reports advises that if you have a vehicle from the model years listed in recalls, you can use your vehicle identification number (VIN) to inquire at the appropriate dealership to determine if your vehicle has, in fact, been recalled.

If you believe a loved one has been injured by a defective Takata airbag, you may be eligible for compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Jim Adler & Associates can provide legal help for a defective parts lawsuit, starting with a free case review.

Pending investigations into the causes of these defects, Takata says it hasn’t yet set aside funds to cover lawsuit settlements. However, lawsuits are inevitable against Takata, which says it’s returning to profits in the current fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the NHTSA expects to take “significant new steps” soon in terms of hastening additional Takata airbag recalls as necessary.

FREE Case Review

Testimonials

Erick Becker
Erick Becker
01:20 06 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
18:52 19 May 17
My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!
Lorenzo Preston
Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
Jim Adler only offer nothing less than a great experience. They are a very well-established organization. They are outstanding on keeping you up to date with cases. There's no beating around the bush with this organization as they are only straight forward with the whole process. They treat their customers like family as well as go above and beyond to fight cases for you only leaving you with nothing but the best experience. Easy 5-star rated organization. I would highly recommend this one organization you not look over.
Tori Barroga
Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.
Bernard Orozco
Bernard Orozco
17:16 23 Feb 17
I am very happy with Jim Adler & Associates. I did not know anyone who has ever used the Law Firm before. The staff is very friendly and treated me as if I were family. At times it got very stressful being without a job. They helped me when I was confused about the process. Mrs. Theresa Rodriguez stayed in contact with me constantly. Checking on me to see how I was doing and to let me know how things were going on there end. The Attorneys that handled my case know exactly what they are doing to take good care of me. Thank You so much Attorney's Mr.Michael Gomez and Mr.Trey Smith.
See All Reviews
If you’ve been seriously injured, get The Tough, Smart Lawyer! ®
Get Help Right Now
Principal Office Houston, TX