The lawsuit claims Honda knew about Takata airbag issues for more than a decade
December 14, 2022 at 17:31
by Brad Anderson
The owner of a 2005 Honda Civic who was injured when the car’s Takata airbag inflator exploded has filed a lawsuit against Honda.
Jose Hernandez was driving his 2005 Civic on Ives Dairy Road in Miami when he was hit by another vehicle while attempting to make a left turn. The Takata airbag inflator exploded inside the Honda and shot a piece of metal shrapnel several inches long into Hernandez’s right arm.
The lawsuit alleges that car manufacturers, including Honda, “have known for more than a decade about the dangers presented by ammonium nitrate airbag inflators manufactured by Takata, but that their efforts to notify the public of these dangers and issue recalls have been marred by a series of delays, coverups, fabrications, and willful attempts to downplay the issue by both Takata and Honda.”
Read: Honda Tried Contacting Accord Driver Who Died From Takata Airbag Over 300 Times In 11 Years
It is claimed that Honda was first notified of a Takata airbag injury as early as 2004 but waited four years to recall just 3,900 vehicles in 2008 before a growing number of injuries and deaths prompted it to recall more than 6 million vehicles by 2014.
The Takata Airbag Tort Compensation Trust Fund was established during Takata’s bankruptcy to create a process where victims of faulty airbags could receive adequate compensation. However, Hernandez is the first Takata airbag explosion victim to opt out of the fund in the belief that it will not provide adequate damages.
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“Having represented over a hundred victims of Takata airbags, I have seen firsthand the damage these deadly devices cause,” Morgan & Morgan attorney Andrew Parker Felix noted in a statement sent to Carscoops. “Mr. Hernandez’s injuries are catastrophic, and respectfully, we feel that the award offered by the Trust would not make him whole. We are using the process established during Takata’s bankruptcy to give Mr. Hernandez his day in court, and this is exactly how the Trust was designed to function.”
The lawsuit names Braman Honda of Miami as a defendant for selling the 2005 Honda Civic to Hernandez and failing to notify him that it had been recalled. The Takata Airbag Tort Compensation Trust Fund is also named as a defendent, although Honda is responsible for the Trust’s legal fees and costs, as well as any final settlement of verdict that may be awarded to Hernandez.