On Monday, federal regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said they will be evaluating responses from Honda on a 34-point order requesting detailed information about how the automaker handled death and injury complaints linked to its faulty Takata airbags.
In a year steeped in controversy for the auto industry, Takata Corp. may be embroiled in the biggest recall since the General Motors ignition switch scandal that began in January. The NHTSA has subjected Honda to a Dec. 1 deadline by which they must submit answers to detailed questions which will ultimately determine whether they were incompliant in reporting potentially harmful defects in their vehicles as far back as 2004.
That year, one Honda Accord driver suffered an accident and was injured by shrapnel that exploded out of the Takata airbag as it deployed; four years later a driver died from the same issue in the same car. The NHTSA’s concern is that the company did not promptly and adequately report these issues through the industry’s quarterly reporting system.
If and when Honda responds to the NHTSA’s order, the agency will take particular note of any complaints that pointed to a potential defect with the airbags. A spokesperson from the NHTSA notes that any illegal activity, including failure to report important safety issues, will not be tolerated, and that Honda and all carmakers must abide by the same laws meant for consumer protection.
Takata’s faulty airbags have been the center of a 7.8 million vehicle recall within the past 18 months. The problem lies with a faulty inflator, which may rupture during deployment, causing the airbag to explode violently out of the housing and spray metal shards toward vehicle occupants.
If you or someone you love was hurt by a defective Takata airbag, the product liability attorneys at The Eichholz Law Firm can help you today.
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