It is with regret that we confirm what some of our Sacramento readers may have already heard in the news and it is that another person is reported to have lost their life because of Takata's defective airbags. The accident happened only a month before we wrote our post that talked about a pending investigation into the defect. At the time only six deaths had been linked to the product defect. Now, that count has risen to seven and it is confirmed that the victim's family in this recent case has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
For those who didn't hear about the case, an article for the Claims Journal indicates that the car involved in the accident had been on the recall list, but the victim's family claim that they didn't receive the later until two days after the crash. By then it was too late for the driver who suffered a severed carotid artery, likely because of the shrapnel released from the airbag during explosion.
Possibly in response to this recent accident, Toyota has announced that it is expanding its recall to include 1.37 million more vehicles to account for the deadly airbags. Honda is doing the same and added roughly 1.39 million to its expansive recall list as well.
As anyone who regularly reads our blog knows, the cost of a defective product is not just measured in how much a manufacturer must pay out in compensation, it's also measured in the number of lives it affects. From those who become injured to the family members of those who have been killed by it, a defective product can impact hundreds of thousands of lives if a manufacturer does not address the problem quickly.
In the end though, many consider just one life lost to be too many, which is why most seek legal representation and compensation from negligent manufacturers after tragedies such as those that occurred because of the defective Takata airbags.
Sources: The Claims Journal, "Another Death Linked to Defective Takata Airbags," June 15, 2015
Auto Blog, "Toyota recalls 1.37 million more vehicles for Takata airbags," Chris Bruce, June 16, 2015
Auto Blog, "Honda adds 1.39 million more vehicles to Takata recall to fix Civic and Accord," Chris Bruce, June 16, 2015