A 21-year-old woman from South Carolina has filed a new air bag lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. She claims that she was severely injured when the air bag deployed and is seeking compensation to cover medical expenses and permanent scarring.
This lawsuit is one of nearly ten other Takata air bag lawsuits pending in federal courts across the nation.
South Carolina Woman Injured by Takata Air Bag Explosion
According to her complaint, the woman was driving her 2001 Honda Civic on March 2, 2012, in Chapin, South Carolina, when she was rear-ended by another vehicle. The Takata air bag in her car deployed as expected, but rather than cushioning and protecting her, it allegedly exploded, shooting out small pieces of metal and plastic into the interior of the vehicle.
The plaintiff claims that several of those pieces of shrapnel penetrated her chest. She was rushed to the hospital, where she had to undergo two surgeries. Doctors removed the shrapnel, but she was left with permanent scarring on her chest and upper torso.
Plaintiff Receives Recall Notice a Year After Accident
The plaintiff didn’t file her lawsuit right away. A year later, however, she received a recall letter notifying her that her Honda was one of those recalled because of potential air bag problems. She was upset to discover that the auto maker was aware of potential air bag problems long before her accident occurred, and disappointed to find out that both Takata and Honda had dragged their feet on implementing broad-based recalls that might have protected more people like her.
It was only recently that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that Honda would be required to pay $70 million in fines to the U.S. Department of Transport because they failed to report certain deaths, injuries, and warranty claims to the federal government. The fine was the largest ever levied on an auto manufacturer.
Honda has recently broadened its recalls of driver’s side Takata air bags.
Plaintiff Hopes to Spread the Word About Takata Air Bag Dangers
After receiving the recall notice, the plaintiff researched the issue to try to understand why the recall had been so delayed. “I wanted to know why I had been injured the way I had been,” she told The State, “and I didn’t believe that that was standard for an air bag to deploy in a wreck like that.”
She added that she hoped her Takata air bag lawsuit would help increase awareness about the defect, and potentially protect others from going through the trauma she had to endure. She seeks compensation for pain, suffering, and permanent impairment.
Takata Resisting Recall Expansion
In October 2014, the NHTSA called for a nationwide recall of all Takata driver’s side air bags. Some manufacturers have stepped up to broaden previous regional-based recalls, but Takata has been resisting such an expansion, stating that so far the evidence doesn’t warrant it.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.