It’s not the first, and certainly won’t be the last, legal action against the Japanese air bag maker Takata, which is at the center of a massive recall of nearly 8 million vehicles.
A South Florida woman took to the CBS Miami affiliate station to warn drivers that they should take the recall seriously to avoid injuries if an airbag in an affected car is deployed.
Nearly four months ago, Claribel Nunez was involved in a crash while driving her 2001 Honda Civic. The injury on her forehead was the result of a chunk of metal fragment that exploded from her Civic’s air bag mechanism.
“I have headaches, nausea and sometimes I lose my vision for a while. My sense of smell has been affected. I’m dealing with a lot of issues,” Nunez told CBSMiami, accompanied by her lawyer Jason Turchin.
The hospital bill, 12 stitches and 20-days away from work all stemmed from the piece of metal, Nunez said.
Turchin filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nunez against Takata, the company that manufactures the airbag, and Japanese auto giant Honda. At least 10 auto makers including Honda, Toyota, Ford and BMW, just to name a few, are recalling certain model vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the mechanism that inflates the air bags can rupture, causing metal fragments to fly out when the bags are deployed.
Vehicle owners can call the NHTSA Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236. Or they can try input their VIN on Safercar.gov
Flying metal from these Takata airbags has been linked to at least four deaths and 30 injuries.
“The lawsuit is not just about money,” Turchin said. “It’s about getting answers and trying to fix a problem if there is one. What we’re concerned about is that Ms. Nunez isn’t the only potential victim of an airbag issue and there may be many other potential victims out there.”
Watch CBSMiami’s report: