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Evidence Suggests Airbag Manufacturer Destroyed Evidence of Deadly Default


Two US Senators have asked for a DOJ investigation into evidence that Japan's Takata destroyed evidence of faulty air bags that have caused multiple fatalities.

Two US Senators have asked for a DOJ investigation into evidence that Japan’s Takata destroyed evidence of faulty air bags that have caused multiple fatalities.[/caption] No doubt you’ve heard news of the massive recall of faulty vehicle air bags made by the Japanese manufacturer, Takata, and installed in upward of 14 million Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan and General Motors models worldwide – upward of 8 million of them here in the United States.

Now, there’s evidence that Takata officials allegedly knew about the issue as early as 2004 and deliberately hid the truth. On Thursday, the New York Times published an investigative report alleging that Takata officials learned of the problem that causes airbags to rupture in even minor collisions during testing a decade ago. But rather that notify federal safety regulators about the default, which can cause debris to fly from the bag, causing stab-like wounds in victims’ face, neck and chest areas, company officials instead ordered its engineers to destroy all related data and physical evidence. It would be another four years before Takata publicly acknowledged the problem and another six before the first major recall.

Meanwhile, the default thus far has contributed to three deaths, including that of an Orlando woman, and at least 139 injuries. Investigators report that extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures appears to make the air bags more prone to problems. That’s why the NHTSA is targeting registered vehicle owners in hot, humid states including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Hawaii. The problem is so pervasive that Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) this week called on the US Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation. “Reports that Takata concealed and destroyed test results revealing fatal air bag defects, along with other evidence that the company was aware of these deadly problems, clearly require a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice,” Markey and Blumenthal wrote. “If the reports are true, the company must be held accountable for the horrific deaths and injuries that its wrongdoing caused. These allegations are credible and shocking – plainly warranting a prompt and aggressive criminal probe.” If a cover up is proven, older related personal injury cases that have passed statutes of limitations or statutes of repose may again be viable, even if the vehicle and air bag involved are long gone.

If your vehicle’s make, model and year are listed below, check the manufacturer?s website for a VIN search feature that will confirm whether your vehicle is included in the recall. If so, and if you’ve suffered no injuries as a result of the defective air bag, take your car to your local dealership for a free repair. However, if you or members of your family have sustained airbag-related injuries, get medical treatment immediately and keep the airbag intact, as it may be used as evidence in a personal injury case. Contact Harrell and Harrell, serving Northeast and Central Florida as well as South Georgia, at 800-251-1111.

BMW

  • 2000 ? 2005 3 Series Sedan
  • 2000 ? 2006 3 Series Coupe
  • 2000 ? 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon
  • 2000 ? 2006 3 Series Convertible
  • 2001 ? 2006 M3 Coupe
  • 2001 ? 2006 M3 Convertible

Chrysler

  • 2003 ? 2008 Dodge Ram 1500
  • 2005 ? 2008 Dodge Ram 2500
  • 2006 ? 2008 Dodge Ram 3500
  • 2006 ? 2008 Dodge Ram 4500
  • 2008 ? Dodge Ram 5500
  • 2005 ? 2008 Dodge Durango
  • 2005 ? 2008 Dodge Dakota
  • 2005 ? 2008 Chrysler 300
  • 2007 ? 2008 Chrysler Aspen

Ford

  • 2004 ? Ranger
  • 2005 ? 2006 GT
  • 2005 ? 2007 Mustang

General Motors

  • 2003 ? 2005 Pontiac Vibe
  • 2005 ? Saab 9-2X

Honda

  • 2001 ? 2007 Honda Accord)
  • 2001 ? 2002 Honda Accord
  • 2001 ? 2005 Honda Civic
  • 2002 ? 2006 Honda CR-V
  • 2003 ? 2011 Honda Element
  • 2002 ? 2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 ? 2007 Honda Pilot
  • 2006 ? Honda Ridgeline
  • 2003 ? 2006 Acura MDX
  • 2002 ? 2003 Acura TL/CL
  • 2005 ? Acura RL

Nissan

  • 2001 ? 2003 Nissan Maxima
  • 2001 ? 2003 Nissan Pathfinder
  • 2002 ? 2003 Nissan Sentra
  • 2001 ? 2003 Infiniti I30/I35
  • 2002 ? 2003 Infiniti QX4
  • 2003 ? Infiniti FX

Mazda

  • 2003 ? 2007 Mazda6
  • 2006 ? 2007 MazdaSpeed6
  • 2004 ? 2008 Mazda RX-8
  • 2004 ? 2005 MPV
  • 2004 ? B-Series Truck

Mitsubishi

  • 2004 ? 2005 Lancer
  • 2006 ? 2007 Raider

Subaru

  • 2003 ? 2005 Baja
  • 2003 ? 2005 Legacy
  • 2003 ? 2005 Outback
  • 2004 ? 2005 Impreza

Toyota

  • 2002 ? 2005 Lexus SC
  • 2002 ? 2005 Toyota Corolla
  • 2003 ? 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix
  • 2002 ? 2005 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2003 ? 2005 Toyota Tundra
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