Nearly everyone in California has heard about the problems with Takata Corp.'s airbags. As more automakers are forced to issue recalls due to the faulty airbags, Takata could find itself facing business litigation. Lawsuits could come not only from automakers that are spending time and money in connection with the recall, but claims could also come from the families of the people who have been injured or killed because of the company's defective product.
This auto-related recall now holds the distinction of being the largest in American history. At least 33.8 million vehicles from several different automakers are subject to the airbag recall. At least that many people are at risk of injury or death from the airbags, which could explode when they deploy.
At this point, it is believed that the cause of the defective airbags is related to the chemical propellant used by Takata to ignite the inflaters in the airbags. The consensus is that in humid climates, moisture can damage the propellant over time, which can cause it to explode. Since February, the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration was fining Takata $14,000 a day in connection with the recall.
When California companies produce a product, they are responsible for its safety. When the product fails, consumers and other businesses that use the product look to the manufacturer for restitution for any injury, whether financial or personal. Business litigation can be both costly and time consuming, but that may not be the worst thing the company faces. The damage to its reputation may be irreparable, especially when it affects millions of people and numerous businesses, such as in the case with Takata.
Source: mlive.com, "Takata airbag recall: Automakers add more vehicles", David Muller, May 29, 2015