Takata Launches Largest Auto Recall in U.S. History

Takata Launches Largest Auto Recall in U.S. History

Background on Takata Corp.

Takata Corp., a renowned Japanese automotive supplier, has long been recognized for its expertise in manufacturing a wide range of automotive safety systems. With a diverse product portfolio that includes airbag systems, child-restraint systems, electronics, interior trims, seat belts, and steering wheels, Takata has played a significant role in enhancing vehicle safety across the globe.

However, Takata’s reputation has been marred by a series of unfortunate events in recent years. The company has become synonymous with the largest auto recall in U.S. history, triggered by the discovery of defective airbags. These faulty airbags are known to pose a safety risk to vehicle owners and their passengers, with reports of severe injuries and even fatalities caused by airbag inflators that can rupture unexpectedly.

As federal regulators and major automakers have intensified their efforts to address this complex consumer safety recall, Takata has faced immense scrutiny. Recall campaigns, recall notices, and regional recalls have been issued to alert vehicle owners about the potential dangers posed by these faulty airbags.

The scale of the recall is unprecedented, affecting millions of vehicles across North America, including notable brands like Mercedes-Benz and Honda Motor Co. Numerous models such as Mercedes-Benz E-Class, GL-Class, C-Class, Honda CR-V, and many more have been included in the recall list. In response to the recall, Takata has been providing loaner vehicles to affected customers, ensuring their mobility while their vehicles undergo repairs.

Over the past year and a half, auto industry recalls have been garnering a lot of attention. From GM’s ignition switch defect to faulty gas tanks, there have been a number of issues and dangerous defects to threaten the safety of everyone on public roads and highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these dangerous products contributed to a record-setting year of 56 million recalled vehicles in 2014. [1]


Key Points Regarding the Takata Recall

Takata Corporation finds itself embroiled in what has been deemed the largest auto recall in U.S. history, as a result of the discovery of defective airbags. This recall has impacted an unprecedented number of vehicles, affecting millions of automobile owners across North America. The faulty airbag inflators found in these vehicles have been identified as posing a significant safety risk to both drivers and passengers.

In the latest round of recalls to gain national attention, Japanese auto parts manufacturer Takata Corporation expanded its recall of U.S. cars and trucks fitted with defective airbags last month. Here are a few key points about the recall and what consumers can do to keep themselves safe.

1. After a lengthy battle with federal regulators, Takata finally admitted that its airbags contained a dangerous defect in May and that it would be expanding its nationwide recall to nearly 34 million U.S. vehicles.

2. The defect in question involves airbags that can potentially rupture and explode during deployment. When this happens, shrapnel and fragments can shoot out at vehicle occupants. Several deaths and a number of injuries have been associated with the faulty Takata airbags.

3. Affected vehicles include a number of U.S. cars and trucks from various automakers, including Honda, Toyota, BMW, Chrysler, General Motors, and more.


The response to this recall has been extensive, with federal regulators and major automakers closely collaborating to mitigate the potential dangers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has spearheaded efforts to address this alarming situation, with recall campaigns, notices, and regional recalls being implemented to ensure widespread awareness among affected vehicle owners.

In an attempt to provide interim solutions to affected customers, Takata has been offering loaner vehicles, enabling owners to maintain their mobility while their vehicles undergo necessary repairs. As the national recall continues to unfold, it serves as a stark reminder of the intricate and laborious process required to rectify a defect of this magnitude and ensure the utmost safety of vehicle occupants.


Examples of Takata Airbag Injuries

Takata, the largest auto recall in U.S. history, has caused numerous injuries due to their defective airbags. The dangerous outcomes of these airbag defects cannot be understated. In some cases, the airbag inflators have exploded with excessive force, propelling shards of metal into the vehicle cabin. This has resulted in severe injuries such as lacerations, puncture wounds, and even vision damage.

The severity of these injuries has contributed to the urgency of the recall campaign. Vehicle owners have reported life-altering injuries and, tragically, even deaths caused by Takata airbags. The safety risk posed by these faulty airbags is significant and federal regulators and major automakers are taking immediate action to ensure the safety of their customers.

To highlight the gravity of the situation, examples of injuries caused by Takata airbags include the case of a South Carolina woman who lost her life after an airbag inflator exploded, creating a projectile that struck her in the neck. [2] Cory Burdok experienced an accident and his Takata airbag ejected metal shrapnel into his right eye, leaving him permanently blind in that eye. [3]



Cost of the Recall Campaigns

The Takata airbag recall has had a significant financial impact on both U.S. federal regulators and automakers. This massive recall, the largest in U.S. history, has resulted in substantial costs for both parties.

For federal regulators, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the cost of overseeing the recall efforts has been substantial. They have had to allocate significant resources to ensure that the recall campaigns and recall notices are effectively executed.

They have had to conduct extensive investigations and research to understand the extent of the defective airbags and the safety risks they pose. This has resulted in a strain on their budget, as they have had to divert funds from other projects to address this major safety concern.

Automakers have also faced significant financial challenges. They have had to bear the cost of replacing the faulty airbag inflators, which have affected millions of vehicles. This has included the expense of manufacturing and distributing replacement parts, providing loaner vehicles to affected customers, and conducting regional recalls in areas where the defective airbags pose a higher safety risk.

Major automakers, such as Honda and Mercedes-Benz, have been among the hardest hit, with millions of vehicles requiring replacements.



The Long-Term Effects of the Recall

The financial implications for Takata Corp. have been substantial. The airbag maker’s stock value has plummeted as investors worry about the financial repercussions of the recall, including lawsuits and fines. Takata Corp. has also faced increased regulatory oversight and scrutiny, leading to additional costs and restrictions on its operations.

In terms of future safety regulations, the Takata recall has prompted federal regulators to pursue stricter measures to ensure consumer safety. This could lead to more rigorous testing and inspection procedures for airbag manufacturers.

Actions to Take if Your Vehicle Has a Takata Airbag

Vehicle owners should act as soon as possible after receiving recall notices and take their cars in for service. If you are unsure as to whether your vehicle contains a defect, you can call your local dealer or visit to search by VIN for outstanding recalls.

At Shook & Stone, our product liability lawyers have worked with many victims and families who suffered damages as a result of dangerous and defective products. We would like to remind everyone about the importance of taking recalls seriously and that victims harmed by unsafe products have the right to pursue compensation for their losses.
If you believe you or someone you love has been injured as a result of defective airbags or another defective product, our attorneys are available to review your case free of charge.

Contact us today to request a free consultation.



[1] The Takata Recall: What’s at Stake for Automakers, Regulators and Consumers. (2023, June 20). Knowledge at Wharton.

[2] Anderson, B. (2021, April 22). South Carolina Driver Killed By Exploding Takata Airbag In Honda Accord | Carscoops. Carscoops.

[3] About Corey Burdick | Consumer Watch | Defective Takata Airbag Recall. (2016, December 14). Consumer Watch.