Arizona drivers may be owners of some of the 21 million vehicles that have Takata air bag inflators and that have been recalled. As of March 31, however, it was reported that 10 million of the devices that have a severe risk of rupturing and causing serious injuries are still in use. As such, it is not expected that the 10 automakers who installed these dangerous inflators will have the recalls completed by the Dec. 31 deadline originally imposed by the federal government.
During an accident that causes the air bags to deploy, the defective inflators can cause shrapnel to be hurled at the drivers and passengers. They have caused at least 18 deaths, with 12 of them occurring in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued 15 high-priority recalls. Of these, 10 had completion rates that were less than 50 percent. In six of these recalls, the completion rate was less than 33 percent.
The highest priority inflators are those that are older and are a specific type that have been shown to be more prone to failing. As of June 23, 16 million of the 46 million defective inflators have been replaced, leaving the NHTSA concerned about the automakers' ability to complete the recall. Even as automakers are working to improve their completion rates, additional recalls could still be coming.
Air bags are installed in vehicles for the purpose of preventing severe trauma when a person becomes involved in an accident. However, defective air bags or air bag inflators could potentially cause a fatality if they do not inflate as designed. If a family loses a loved one after a defective air bag inflator fails to work properly, a products liability attorney could file a lawsuit against the manufacturer that failed to ensure that the product was safe.