The Takata Corporation supplies airbags to many of the cars we drive. In certain models produced since 2001, however, the airbags have failed to keep people safe; in fact, they have done just the opposite. More than 30 lawsuits have been filed against Takata alleging that that the airbags deploy with such force that drivers are being critically injured. The latest lawsuit claims that the force was enough to kill the driver.

John Lyon, Jr. is the brother of Mary Lynn Wolfe, whose life was tragically lost in 2008 after a car accident. In the lawsuit, Mr. Lyon claims that the airbag deployed with “excessive force,” and that this force caused his sister to fracture her spine. For the 18 days before her death, Ms. Wolfe was in the hospital suffering with brain injuries, respiratory failure and liver damage.

Mr. Lyon’s attorney claims that the defect in the airbag is caused by ammonium nitrite. In an article by the National Law Journal, Mr. Lyon’s lawyer says that “It’s the propellant that is the problem here, with the explosive nature of these air bags. The air bag will have much greater force [because it uses ammonium nitrate] and smack somebody in the face. The way I look at it is like dynamite in your air bag, and you didn’t know it.”

Who is at risk?

Takata supplied airbags to a number of different car manufacturers, including:

  • BMW
  • Chrysler
  • Ford
  • Honda
  • Mazda
  • Nissan
  • Toyota

Honda is also named in the lawsuit brought by Mr. Lyon.

The importance of this lawsuit

Mr. Lyon filed his wrongful death claim in federal court as opposed to a state court. That is because Mr. Lyon is alleging that Takata knew the airbags were faulty, and yet did not issue a recall or attempt to warn consumers. If this claim is true, Takata – and potentially any of the car manufacturers it sold its products to – knowingly and willingly violated federal regulations.

We are watching these cases carefully, especially Mr. Lyon’s case, because of the severity of the injuries caused by Takata airbags. If you believe you have a lawsuit against the company, or if you have suffered because of a car accident, please contact our office for more information.