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Miami firm files class action over Takata airbags

By Legal News Line | Dec 2, 2014

MIAMI (Legal Newsline) - A class action lawsuit filed in Florida alleges a large airbag manufacturer failed to fix defects in its product that could cause the airbags to explode and cause serious injury or death.

Florida residents Ryvania Mercedes Fuentes, Lidice Santos and Steven Schneider named Takata Corp. and Honda Motor Co. in the lawsuit, alleging both companies knew about possible defects in airbags made by Takata.

The lawsuit said more than 14 million cars with Takata airbags have been recalled due to defects. The airbags were blamed for a few deaths when they exploded after traffic accidents sent metal shrapnel flying inside the vehicle. In one incident, the medical examiner said in September that a Florida resident had “stab-type wounds” due to shrapnel cutting her trachea.

Both Fuentes and Santos own 2007 Honda Accords, and Schneider owns a 2002 Acura TL. All three vehicles have Takata airbags installed, and all were part of the recall.

The plaintiffs said Takata knew about the defects as early as 2001, but the company did not issue a recall. The possible danger of the airbags wasn't brought up to U.S. safety regulators until 2008. The lawsuit alleges Honda received three reports of airbag ruptures in 2007, but also did not issue a recall.

In November 2008, Honda issued a partial recall of 4,000 Accords and Civics. It wasn't until May 2009, after two other incidents involving exploding airbags, when Honda expanded its recall to 400,000 vehicles.

The plaintiffs are represented by Michael Criden and Kevin Love of Criden & Love P.A., and Robert Gilbert.

U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida-Miami Division case number 1:14-cv-24494.

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