In March 2015, a young man was driving his 2003 Honda Civic when he had a relatively minor, low impact car accident. Instantly, his Takata airbag deployed, sending shrapnel threw the airbag’s fabric and into the neck of the victim. The victim had blood pouring out of his neck, difficulty breathing, and a piece of metal lodged in his neck. He was airlifted to the emergency room for surgery to remove the piece of metal. He has significant scars on his neck where the surgery was performed. Our firm represents this victim.
Jason Turchin has represented many airbag victims and was one of the first attorneys to bring these issues to light. Back in 2013, Jason represented a man injured when a piece of metal shot out of his 2006 Dodge Charger and stabbed him in the leg. He filed one of the first Federal lawsuits involving airbag shrapnel in the case of Claribel Nunez v. Honda and Takata. He represented another State Court victim in the case of Jana v. Honda and Takata which involved a passenger airbag that allegedly burst from the dashboard after a crash and caused a piece of the airbag to catch on fire and land on the victim. He also represents several other victims of alleged aggressive deployment where the airbag allegedly deployed with excessive, unreasonable force.
Takata airbags were made with a chemical called ammonium nitrate. This chemical typically goes through various phases and can become more explosive as the phases change. Any change to the chemical make up or the structure of the airbag’s housing can make the airbags unstable and subject to rupture.
Having represented several airbag rupture victims, we’ve been able to investigate and inspect ruptured airbags. One of the most consistent findings has been the rust and corrosion on the inside and outside of the inflator canister. What we are seeing is that over time, the metal may be exposed to humidity and can rust, much like your outdoor grill. They don’t last forever. When the airbag inflator canister changes at all, it is no longer in the same condition it was in when it was first installed. In the new condition, it would not have been properly tested for safety and stability, and may be defective.
In the new 2003 Honda Civic airbag rupture case we are handling, the airbag looked like it had bullet holes in the center. This is where the pieces of metal shot out, causing a large piece to strike the victim in the neck and get lodged.
According to Reuters, Honda has confirmed that the airbag in the 2003 Honda Civic accident in March 2015 ruptured, sending pieces of metal into the victim’s neck. We want these injuries to stop. We want these vehicles off the road and fixed so nobody gets hurt or killed as a result of the defective airbags.
Airbags have a lifespan
Airbags are typically designed to last for the lifespan of a vehicle. This view is changing in light of the Takata airbag ruptures. When looking inside the airbag inflator canister from the 2003 Honda Civic defective airbag, you can clearly see evidence of age. It seems logical that these changes did not happen overnight.
So how can we fix these problems? Make airbags inspectable. Allow a skilled mechanic to get inside the airbag cloth to inspect the inflator housing and look for signs of rust and corrosion. Jason Turchin developed an airbag design aimed at making airbags safer. The Inspectable Airbag System permits a mechanic to open the steering wheel and inspect the visible components of the airbag.
Let’s work together to make our vehicles safer
Enough of the hiding documents, delays in document production, secret testing, and lack of cooperation. We all have the same goal – make our airbags safer.
More Information About Jason Turchin
Jason Turchin often represents high profile, newsworthy cases. He used to work for attorney Roy Black and learned the value of hardcore litigation skills, intense scrutiny of the case, and dedication to fighting for the rights of his clients. He is a member of the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell’s rating system, and a Lifetime Charter Member of Rue’s Rating’s Best Attorneys in America list, among other accolades. For more information or to contact our office, call us at 800-337-7755.