By now, many people in Hawaii have heard about the issues surrounding airbags manufactured by Takata. The defective products have promoted numerous automakers to issue recalls of their vehicles in order to fix the problem. Recently, BMW decided to expand its recall to all vehicles that could be affected, not just those in certain geographical areas.
The recalls are focused on areas where the weather is hot and humid, such as Hawaii. In these climates in particular, when a Takata airbag deploys, it can blast what is most aptly described as shrapnel at the driver or passenger. In 2009, Honda reported that two people suffered fatal injuries due to this issue.
So far, BMW knows of no reports of this issue occurring with its vehicles, but decided to replace the faulty airbags nonetheless. The recall affects 2000 to 2006 3-Series worldwide. Here in the United States, that amounts to approximately 574,000 vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began its investigation into the problem in June after receiving six reports regarding rupturing airbags. Of those six reports, it is confirmed that three people suffered injuries. The NHTSA says right now the number of recalled vehicles totals approximately 1.1 million, but more vehicles will likely need to be recalled.
Airbags are supposed to save lives, not take them. Consumers rely on manufacturers to make products that are reliable and safe. When that confidence is broken, people can easily be seriously injured or even die. Any Hawaii resident who believes he or she suffered serious injuries — or the family of someone fatally injured — due to one of these defective products retains the right to file a product liability claim against the party or parties responsible.
Source: USA Today, “BMW expands Takata airbag ‘shrapnel’ recall“, , July 16, 2014