Texas Air Bag Defect Lawyer

defective air bag lawyer

Were you or a loved one hurt due to a defective airbag? Seek airbag injury compensation.

Airbags installed in cars and trucks are designed to inflate and cushion the occupants of a vehicle in the event of a crash, preventing injuries. But defective airbags may fail to deploy or may explode when they inflate and cause serious or fatal injuries.

Tens of millions of airbags manufactured by the Japanese supplier Takata and installed in vehicles in the United States have been recalled because of a defective inflator that may explode when activated. Defective airbags have been identified as the cause of numerous serious injuries and deaths in recent years.

The injury attorneys at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. bring a combined 100 years of experience to investigating injuries involving defective products. Our attorneys firmly believe that auto manufacturers and auto parts suppliers should be held responsible when their defective products cause serious injuries.

We are dedicated to pursuing compensation to help you recover from a serious injury or the loss of a loved one due to an unsafe airbag. A dangerous product that has harmed you may have injured others as well. Pursuing a lawsuit targeting a defective airbag or other product may prevent others in Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi South Side, Brownsville, McAllen, San Antonio, Houston, Ft. Worth and the Rio Grande Valley from suffering harm and make the community safer.

Call for a free consultation if you have questions about whether a defective airbag may be responsible for your injuries. Let our experienced Corpus Christi airbag defect lawyer review the specific facts of your accident and explain your legal rights. At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., we focus exclusively on helping accident victims. You may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other expenses.

What Causes Airbag Defects?

Airbags are designed to inflate quickly in moderate to severe collisions. For example, airbags may deploy if a car traveling 8 to 14 miles per hours hits a fixed barrier, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Their deployment depends on several factors including the speed of the vehicles at the time in the collision, the direction of the impact and the design of the airbag system.

Airbags work in conjunction with seat belts to reduce the chances that a collision will propel a crash victim’s head or body to strike the windshield, steering wheel or dashboard. Frontal airbags have been standard equipment on cars since 1998 and on all SUVs, pickups and vans since 1999.

A defect that prevents the timely inflation of an airbag can cause serious injuries. Airbags with inadequate testing, lack of tethers, nonworking sensors or folding defects may fail to inflate properly and protect car occupants in a crash.

wrecked car with defective airbags

Alternately, if the airbag inflates with too much force, it also may cause serious or fatal injuries.

5 Main issues of Defective Airbags

  • Air bags may not deploy.
  • Air bags may accidentally deploy.
  • Air bags may be too aggressive when they deploy.
  • Lack of side air bags.
  • Air bags may deploy late.

Ammonium nitrate, the propellant used in millions of Takata airbags, is unstable and highly combustible. Takata airbags may inflate violently, rupturing the metal canister that holds the propellant and spraying metal shards throughout the passenger compartment.

The metal shards can cause serious or fatal puncture wounds to the face, eyes, head, neck, and chest. Takata failed to alert regulators of the serious defect involving the inflators.

Tens of millions of cars and trucks made by more than 30 manufacturers have now been recalled because of defective Takata airbags and more recalls may occur. Among the auto manufacturers, Honda has the most vehicles with defective Takata airbags.

A vehicle may be recalled for replacement of either the driver-side or passenger-side airbag. In some cases, a vehicle may be recalled for replacement of a driver-side airbag, then recalled at a later date for the replacement of the passenger-side airbag.

Defective Takata airbag systems have been linked to at least 11 deaths and 180 injuries to date. Texas is among the states where the risk of a defective airbag rupturing is highest because of high temperatures and humidity.

If you have been harmed by a defective airbag in Texas, attorney Gregory Herrman and the legal team at Herrman and Herrman, P.L.L.C. are ready to help. We will review the details of your accident and discuss your legal options for a filing a defective airbag lawsuit claiming compensation for your losses.

We understand that you may be experiencing financial stress if you are out of work because of a serious injury and dealing with unanticipated medical expenses.

We handle defective airbag cases on a contingency fee basis. You will not owe a legal fee unless we obtain compensation for you through a negotiated settlement or a jury award.

Risk of Defective Airbags Highest in Certain Models

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the faulty airbag inflators in certain older 2001 to 2003 Hondas and Acuras pose a grave danger.

The motorists are urged not to drive the following vehicles until the airbags are replaced:

  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic

  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord

  • 2002-2003 Acura TL

  • 2002 Honda CR-V

  • 2002 Honda Odyssey

  • 2003 Acura CL

  • 2003 Honda Pilot

Proving that a defective airbag caused your injury or your loved one’s death requires a detailed investigation by experienced product liability lawyers. Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. has a network of respected industry experts who have knowledge of airbag manufacturing and installation.

These experts help us build a fact-based case that shows shortcuts were taken or safety standards were ignored. If the injury caused a disability, we may collaborate with a life care planner who can project the lifetime costs of a disabling injury and its effects on your quality of life.

We may consult with accident reconstruction specialists to show how a product defect caused a crash resulting in an injury or death.

Takata Air Bag Recall

In new developments in the Takata airbag recall, airbag designer and manufacturer Takata Corporation is currently in the process of adding additional recalls to what has become one of the largest airbag recalls to date. This past November, auto safety regulators and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced fines of up to $200 million for Takata Corporation. This week, Takata will recall an additional 35-40 million defective airbags that were housed in US vehicles.

According to media reports and high-level sources, Takata Corporation plans on recalling the additional defective airbags in phases, with the total rollout of the recall expected to take place over the course of several years. This is a significant blow for Takata Corporation, whose airbags are found in a number of popular automakers’ vehicles, including Honda and Toyota. Due to the poor design of the airbags, they would often times deploy with too much force or other times explode when deployed, leading to serious injury and death. Given the significant breadth of the recall and the detailed involvement of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are a number of hurdles that Takata Corporation will have to get by before the recall will be complete, a process that will likely take place over the course of a number of years.

Below is a current list of vehicles affected by the Takata Air Bag Recall:

Acura, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks North America (Sterling Bullet), Daimler Vans USA LLC (Sprinter), Dodge/Ram, Ford, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen.

Takata Airbag Recall is Largest in Industry History

On Tuesday, Takata agreed to double the number of vehicles recalled in The United States to 34 million due to defective airbags making it the largest recall in NHTSA’s history.

Takata is one of the largest suppliers of airbags. For over a decade, the Japanese company refused to admit that its products were defective even though they have been linked to six deaths (five in the U.S.) and more than 100 injuries. In these instances, the airbags violently ruptured upon deployment, sending shrapnel into a car’s passenger compartment.

Back in 2000, many customers filed complaints to the NHTSA about the explosive airbag. In 2004, the company ordered tests and found signs of defects but did not file a report. In 2008, Honda recalled more than 514,000 vehicles after a teenager was killed due to wreckages from an exploding airbag.

As the recalls expanded, the safety agencies began more thorough investigations. In February, Takata was fined $14,000 a day because the company did not give full cooperation to federal safety regulators as evidence grew. The fines reached more than $1 million.

Prior to yesterday’s announcement, ten automakers recalled 36 million vehicles worldwide. You can find out if your vehicle has been recalled by looking up your VIN on SaferCar.org. Check for your VIN on your car door label, windshield VIN plate, or insurance card. Be sure to check often, as the list is updated as new vehicles are added.

Vehicles included in the recall:

  • BMW – 627,615 vehicles affected:
    • 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/Dodge – 3.3 million vehicles affected:
    • 2005-2008 Chrysler 300
    • 2007-2008 Chrysler Aspin
    • 2006-2007 Dodge Charger
    • 2003-2008 Dodge Ram 1500
    • 2005-2008 Dodge Ram 2500
    • 2005-2008 Dodge Dakota
    • 2005-2008 Dodge Durango
    • 2006-2008 Dodge Ram 3500
    • 2006-2008 Dodge Ram 4500
    • 2008 Dodge Ram 5500
  • Ford – 502,489 vehicles affected:
    • 2004 Ford Ranger
    • 2005-2006 Ford GT
    • 2005-2007 Ford Mustang
  • General Motors – 133,211 vehicles affected:
    • 2002 – 2003 Buick LeSabre
    • 2002 – 2003 Buick Rendezvous
    • 2002 – 2003 Cadillac DeVille
    • 2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer
    • 2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Impala
    • 2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
    • 2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Venture
    • 2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy
    • 2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy XL
    • 2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora
    • 2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada
    • 2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Silhouette
    • 2002 – 2003 Pontiac Bonneville
    • 2002 – 2003 Pontiac Montana
    • 2003 – 2005 Pontiac Vibe
    • 2005 Saab 9-2x
  • Honda – 5.4 million vehicles affected:
    • 2002-2003 Acura CL and TL
    • 2003-2006  Acura MDX
    • 2005 Acura RL
    • 2001-2007 Honda Accord
    • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
    • 2002-2006 Honda CR-V
    • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
    • 2003-2011 Honda Element
    • 2003-2007 Honda Pilot
    • 2006 Honda Ridgeline
  • Mazda – Approximately 330,000 vehicles affected:
    • 2003-2007 Mazda6
    • 2004-2008 RX-8
    • 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed6
    • 2004-2005 MPV
    • 2004 B-Series
  • Mitsubishi – 11,985 vehicles affected:
    • 2004-2005 Lancer
    • 2006-2007 Raider
  • Nissan – 717,364 vehicles affected:
    • 2001-2004 Infinity I30/I35
    • 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4
    • 2003-2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45
    • 2006 Infiniti M35/M45
    • 2001-2003 Nissan Maxima
    • 2001-2004 Nissan Pathfinder
    • 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra
  • Subaru – 17,516 vehicles affected:
    • 2003-2005 Baja
    • 2003-2005 Legacy
    • 2003-2005 Outback
    • 2004-2005 Impreza/WRX/WRX STI
  • Toyota – 877,000 vehicles affected:
    • 2002 – 2004 Lexus SC
    • 2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla
    • 2003 – 2004 Toyota  Matrix
    • 2002 – 2004 Toyota Sequoia
    • 2003 – 2004 Toyota Tundra

Takata Recall Update: Replacement Airbags Must be Repaired

On Tuesday, Takata expressed deep remorse on Capitol Hill while informing a congressional committee that many of the cars that have already been repaired will need a second airbag replacement.

“We deeply regret each instance in which someone has been injured or killed,” said Takata’s Vice President of the North American Unit, Kevin Kennedy. “We are committed to doing everything in our power to address the safety concerns raised by airbag ruptures.”

The company admitted it had been manufacturing potentially defective airbags. Many of these vehicles have an inflator, called a “batwing” inflator that may be tied to the exploding airbags. According to Kennedy, Takata’s Vice President of the North American Unit, Kevin Kennedy, the batwing inflators have been found in cars that had exploding driver-side airbags tied to most of the dozens of serious injuries and six deaths that prompted the massive recall.

As of now, there are no approximations as to how many cars have had replacement airbags and it is unclear how many drivers will be called in for a second replacement. Takata doesn’t believe there is an immediate risk with the repaired cars because age is assumed to be a factor in the explosions. However, Kennedy says that the final stage of the recall will be replacing the replacement airbags already installed with the batwing inflators and Takata will be working with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to track them down. He stated that Takata has recently upped production of replacement airbag kits and expects to have 1 million by September.

Experts advise consumers to continue checking www.safercar.gov to see if your car’s VIN number is on the list of defective airbags. The automakers are expected to have submitted all data within two weeks.

Call for a Free Consultation about Your Defective Airbag

If you have been injured in a crash in Texas and suspect a faulty airbag contributed to your injuries, call Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C. to discuss the accident. We focus on personal injury cases including car and truck accidents caused by product defects. We have assisted thousands of people. Our law firm has extensive experience in personal injury law, having handled more than 20,000 cases. We have office locations in Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi South Side, Brownsville, McAllen, San Antonio, Houston, and Ft. Worth, Texas. Herrman & Herrman has Spanish-speaking and English-speaking staff so you can discuss your legal matter in the language that you feel most comfortable speaking.