The official death toll from Takata airbags climbs to 21

Takata Airbags Claim Another Life

Defective Takata airbags have triggered more than 100 recalls affecting about 42 million vehicles in the US. Unfortunately, this has not been enough to catch all the defective airbags and stop the deaths and injuries. Experts estimate there may still be 90 million Takata airbag inflators on the road in the US.

Last month, the 21st death from a defective Takata airbag was confirmed. The accident victim was 34-year-old Nichol Barker of Holiday, Florida. Barker was out driving her 2002 Honda Accord when another vehicle made an illegal left turn in front of her. Unable to avoid an accident, Barker hit the passenger side of the vehicle at about 30 miles per hour.

At such low speeds, the accident should have been survivable. The driver of the other vehicle, as well as Barker’s mother and two children who were in the car with her, were not seriously hurt.

However, Barker suffered fatal wounds when the metal inflator casing of the drivers-side Takata airbag blew apart. The shrapnel ripped a gaping wound in Barker’s left temple and she was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital less than 30 minutes later.

What’s Wrong with Takata Airbags?

Takata airbags use a chemical called ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbag during a crash. Ammonium nitrate is very unstable. Age, high temperatures, and humid conditions make matters worse. When the chemical is compromised by such conditions, it burns too fast when the airbag is deployed. This causes the airbag canister to explode and send fragments of metal into the interior of the vehicle.

Why Did Barker’s Vehicle Still Have Takata Airbags?

Barker’s 2002 Honda Accord had been included in a recall in May of 2015, but investigators have confirmed that the recall notice had not been followed up on. Barker purchased the vehicle in 2016 and was likely unaware of the recall or the danger her new vehicle posed. It is unclear if the party who sold her the vehicle knew that the vehicle had not had its recall repair.

Takata Lawsuits Continue

Takata continues to be the target of numerous lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals who were injured or killed by their defective airbags. There is evidence that Takata knew it was dangerous to use ammonium nitrate in their airbags but proceeded with this chemical anyway due to cost concerns.

A freeze on new litigation for individual claims against Takata has been extended through the end of this month. However, if you or a loved one has been injured by a Takata airbag you should not hesitate to contact an attorney immediately. The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker is here to help. Simply call us at 800-333-0000 for a free consultation.

📞 Call 800-333-0000 Today!