Attorney Patrick Bailey of Bailey & Partners: "Takata Air Bag Recall Scandal is a Sign of a Troubling Trend in Auto Manufacturing"

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Multiple car companies continue recalling millions of vehicles over potentially dangerous air bags manufactured by the Takata Corporation. Attorney Patrick Bailey argues that this may be another example of a company prioritizing short-term profit over long-term public safety.

Instead of massive recalls and malfeasance being anomalies, they seem to have become commonplace. Something is wrong with that picture

Recent recalls have cost billions of dollars for corporations like GM, Toyota, Honda and others. In recent months, some of these companies have paid millions and, in some cases, billions of dollars in fines and legal settlements. In March, for instance, Toyota was ordered to pay a $1.2 billion criminal fine by the United States Department of Justice for what Attorney General Eric Holder called "'blatant disregard' for the law" in how the company responded to safety issues, Bill Vlasic and Matt Apuzzo of the New York Times report in "Toyota Is Fined $1.2 Billion for Concealing Safety Defects" published on March 19, 2014.

Attorney Patrick Bailey explains that, "Bailey & Partners represents accident victims injured as the result of product defects. We also represent families who have lost loved ones as a result of product defects. As you'd expect, we have been following all of these recall cases very closely. It is amazing that automotive manufacturers have not gotten the message even after billions of dollars in fines, countless injuries and fatalities. Safety must always come first. This latest Takata air bag recall scandal is a sign of a troubling trend in auto manufacturing that must be reversed."

Bailey alludes to the innumerable recalls over the last decade and the recent recall of approximately 28, 000 more Toyota vehicles equipped with Takata-made air bags. According to an October 21, 2014 report in the USA TODAY, "Toyota widens air bag recall, warns passengers," by James R. Healy, most of the vehicles being included in this recent recall are in humid regions where the airbags may not deploy correctly due to weather-related complications. This recall is simply the latest for vehicles that have the Takata air bags. Ten vehicle manufacturers rely on Takata for their air bags and millions of these vehicles from a wide variety of vehicle manufacturers have been recalled in recent years due to the air bag problems.

"If Toyota, Ford, Mazda or any of the other companies that use these air bags knew there were safety issues, they should have acted sooner. This is symbolic of an epidemic in the auto industry: they often do not take action until injuries or deaths have occurred. Thus far, there is no evidence that safety concerns were ignored," Bailey says. "But if these companies, including Takata, did not adhere to the law or if they were negligent in any way, they must be held responsible."

The Takata air bags can fail to deploy during accidents or may deploy at inappropriate times. There have also been at least two confirmed reports of air bags deploying with such power that they sprayed shrapnel at the vehicle drivers. Both cases led to fatalities and at least two more similar cases are currently being investigated, Healey reports in another USA TODAY piece from October 22, 2014 ("Feds confused, automakers alarmed over Takata air bags").

"Some of the vehicles are decades old and have been re-sold multiple times. The companies who manufactured these cars have an obligation to find the vehicle drivers and warn them of the problem, but this can be extremely complicated. Instead of having to recall vehicles every few months and instead of spending billions of dollars to fix and settle after these problems come to light, the manufacturers must do a better job making sure their vehicles are safe before they leave the factory," Bailey argues. "Bailey & Partners can find the truth and hold these corporations responsible if they have done anything illegal or irresponsible, but we want to send a message before strategy strikes: auto manufacturers must be proactive and do it right the first time. Maybe it costs more in the short term but it is well worth the cost."

The attorney concludes by asserting, "sudden acceleration, faulty ignition switches, defective air bags, and the list goes on and on for the reasons why cars have been recalled or companies have been fined over the last few years. Instead of massive recalls and malfeasance being anomalies, they seem to have become commonplace. Something is wrong with that picture."

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Betsy Passarelli
since: 09/2009
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Bailey and Partners - Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys
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