After the latest airbag recall involving 34 million vehicles, we might be forgiven for thinking that the Takata Corporation has always only been in the airbag business. Not so. It was founded in 1933 in Japan and it at first made lifelines for parachutes. After World War II, the company started to produce seatbelts. It was the company that staged the very first public seat belt test crashes with dummies.
Then in the 1980s, the company decided to jump into the growing airbag business. Airbags had become optional equipment on some cars, and would soon become standard equipment on virtually every car and truck made.
Takata made billions of dollars off of being one of three airbag producers in the world, but there have been several recalls in recent years. Some of their airbags have injured and even killed car occupants.
As it turns out, a properly functioning airbag is not just reliant on the quality of the airbag material: The pyrotechnics that release the airbag are extremely critical.
The company has had problems with its airbags being released too quickly, leading to head trauma, facial injuries and even death in some cases. There are at least four cases of Takata airbags killing car occupants because the bags are deployed too quickly by the propellants.
Experts say that the company has struggled with quality control problems on its airbags and with the ammonium nitrate propellants used in airbag deployment.
After the latest recall, the company finally admitted that it does have a quality problem and is working to solve their airbag problems.
Thousands of people are hurt by faulty products every year. If you have ever been injured by a product that has been recalled, you should talk to a personal injury attorney to see what your rights are. Large corporations have strong teams of lawyers and insurance companies that are dedicated to paying out as little as possible to people who have been injured by the product.
We hope that Takata is finally taking its airbag problems more seriously and will improve quality so that no more needless injuries and deaths occur.