The last thing that anyone driving expects is to be injured by defective airbags. That is what happened however when a woman in Florida was involved in a car accident in her Honda. The woman was involved in what should have been an accident in which serious injury could be prevented by the air bag. Instead however, the woman was killed by what the medical examiner in Florida called air bag shrapnel.
The Takata Corp and Honda Motor Company have been served with a lawsuit that relates directly to the death of the woman as it pertains to the involvement of the air bag in her death. The family of Hein Tran have filed a wrongful death suit after she died on October 2, three days after her 2001 accident. Her Honda accord hit another car and then the air bag exploded sending shrapnel into her body from which she died.
Takata airbags are currently under investigation by the United States for safety in any event. The air bags investigation was started earlier this year over the risk that they send out shards or metal when they are deployed. More than 16 million cars have a risk of air bag defects since 2008. Trans death however is one of the most recent in direct relation to the air bag defect.
Honda has as of yet identified a fifth airbag fatality in the country of Malaysia. The lawsuit also claims that Honda did not do enough to warn those that were affected by a recent recall of the serious hazard that the air bags presented. The lawsuit claims that if the car maker had made a better effort to convey the danger, more owners would have brought their cars in for repair resulting in less injury overall.
The lawsuit also sites the message from Honda that was sent to dealer networks saying that they should not proactively contact customers at this time. There are currently far more people affected by the faulty recall than you might imagine. Takata claims that the issue was not in the fact that there was no danger in the air bags but rather that there were not enough replacement parts to handle a large scale recall and replacement program at the time.
Tran’s family claims that she did not know that the air bag was dangerous because she did not receive a recall notice of the potential dangers. If this is the case, Honda and Takata stand to easily loose the lawsuit and any suit that is brought up against them in this regard in the future. There are also several personal injury cases against the company for the same issue and several class action suits in the works as well.
It is the belief that if Honda and Takata had made a better effort to contact their customers of the potential hazards that the faulty air bags presented that far less death and injury would have occurred. As of yet however, Takata and Honda have both declined to comment about the suit or the claims that they did not do their duty of informing customers of potential dangers of the air bags. Tran’s family even goes so far as to claim that she only received notification that her Honda accord was being recalled after she had passed. Though this is an unfortunate event, it is not uncommon for car companies to take their time when notifying their customers that there is a problem with their vehicle. So far, all that the family and public can do is wait and see what the final outcome of the suit and class action suits is. It is the responsibility of Takata and Honda to compensate the family and it looks like they are going to have to.