Large Honda Payout Impending Over Faulty Airbags

Dec 7, 2020 1:37 PM ET

iCrowdNewswire   Dec 7, 2020  8:37 AM ET

The car manufacturer, Honda allegedly hid safety defects in Takata airbags which were installed in their vehicles, and is having to pay $85.1 million to 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Georgia will be receiving $3 million from this settlement.

Honda made it appear as though their cars were safe, despite the signs that Takata airbags were defective and unsafe. The Attorney General, Chris Carr, stated that his office will protect Georgians from hazards that put their health and safety at risk by staying vigilant. Legal action was taken when allegations were made that Honda was hiding defects in the frontal airbag systems, these airbags were installed in different Honda and Acura branded vehicles. Takata Corporation designed and manufactured these faulty airbags, and has been Honda’s supplier for many years. These faulty airbag systems have been installed in Honda models since 2001.

Takata Recall

Takata airbags are currently being recalled, and it is estimated that tens of millions of vehicles have these airbags installed. The reason behind the recall is that these airbags have been known to explode when deployed which has led to serious injuries and even death. When airbags explode they can send metal parts into passenger compartments of the car which is why people are sustaining serious injuries. Carr’s office has reported that these faulty airbags have caused at least 14 deaths and have been responsible for over 200 injuries.

Holding Honda Accountable

Honda’s behavior has been problematic since it appears that Honda knew about the defective airbags before the general public and did not do anything, or make any statements to alert the public. It also appears this recall is not the first by Honda, and in 2008, Honda recalled vehicles that had potentially dangerous airbags. Honda has to be held accountable for their actions, but that can prove to be difficult.

The tests that are conducted to see if a product meets federal regulations are essentially self-certifying tests. That means a company, like Honda, can say they pass the test, or meet the standards without oversight from a third party. The government and different regulatory agencies trust the word of the company and typically do not go and conduct the tests themselves.

States Taking Action

Attorney Generals from nearly every state worked together to reach a settlement with Honda. According to the states, Honda’s actions violated consumer protection laws. Supposedly Honda engineers knew that ammonium nitrate could cause the airbag to explode and can burn aggressively. Ammonium nitrate was used as the airbags’ propellant. In 2008 and 2009, Honda had a partial recall of vehicles with faulty airbags, but downplayed the severity of airbag defects. Honda continued to misrepresent the safety of their vehicles, and said their airbags were safe. By failing to inform consumers of the defective airbags and through the misrepresentations of safety Honda’s actions were unfair and deceptive in nature.

The settlement which includes an $85 million payout also stipulates that:

  • Future airbags need “fail-safe” measures in case of airbag explosion
  • Airbags need to be obtained reputable companies that historically met industry standards
  • Implement measures to prevent future tragedies like this
  • Prohibit misleading ads or representations of the safety of Honda vehicles
  • Improve risk management, quality control and supplier oversight

What to Do if You Own a Honda or Acura Vehicle

If you own a Honda or Acura vehicle, it is strongly recommended to visit Honda’s airbag recall website. This is an easy way to determine if your car’s airbag system has been recalled. You can either enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) to get specific recall information, or enter in the make and model of your car to get non-VIN specific recall information. At authorized Honda dealers, all safety repairs are free. It is also recommended, if your car has a defective airbag, to only drive your vehicle to the dealer to get it fixed immediately. These vehicles should not be driven and need to be replaced immediately.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving a recalled vehicle, contact a dedicated attorney today; you could be entitled to legal compensation.