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Former NHTSA Chief Sought to Lead Takata Airbag Investigation

david kelly nhtsa

David Kelly, one of the nation’s foremost safety experts, is being heavily courted to lead investigations on the part of a coalition of automakers into the defective Takata-made airbags responsible for multiple deaths and potentially hundreds of injuries. An alliance of at least ten car manufacturers reportedly is in late-stage talks with former National Highway Transportation Safety Administration Chief David Kelly to helm the probe.

Takata, a Japan-based airbag and seatbelt manufacturer, is under fire for a rash of incidents in which defective automobile airbags and airbag inflators exploded, sending shards of metal and plastic shrapnel flying through vehicle cabins and inflicting stab-like wounds in victims’ head, neck and chest areas. Thus far, at least five deaths and dozens of injuries have been linked to the issue. There is some indication that warm climate conditions, like those here in Florida, could exacerbate the problem, making the airbags more prone to rupturing.

To date, ten automakers have recalled upward of 12 million vehicles in the US and some 19 million worldwide with Takata-made airbags installed. If a deal is inked, Kelly and his group won’t be alone in the search for answers. Takata has assembled its own panel, led by former Secretary of Transportation Samuel Skinner, and the NHTSA’s deputy administrator, David Friedman, recently appointed an outside engineering firm to investigate the airbags and inflators as well.

If you or your dependents have suffered injuries that you believe may be connected to a recalled airbag, get medical treatment and call 800-251-1111 to talk with a Takata airbag recall attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell.