SOURCE: Anapol Schwartz

Anapol Schwartz

November 20, 2014 16:07 ET

Anapol Schwartz Files Class Action Against Exploding Airbag Manufacturer

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - Nov 20, 2014) - Anapol Schwartz Shareholder Larry Coben filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday against Takata Corporation, Honda Motor Co., and numerous other manufacturers on behalf of about 20 million people who own or lease vehicles with defective Takata airbags that may explode and shoot shrapnel during an auto collision.

The staggering number of vehicles recalled for the potentially deadly defect has led to an acute shortage of parts to correct the problem. The only solution offered by manufacturers to date is to either disable the airbags completely or to encourage customers not to drive their vehicles until the airbags can be fixed. Customers have been left with either an unsafe vehicle or no vehicle at all as a result. The legal action seeks monetary relief for millions of affected vehicle owners and a mandatory order for prompt repair of the defective airbags. The lawsuit also seeks an injunction forcing Takata to turn over to competitor airbag manufacturers the necessary technical information to help manufacture and replace these unsafe safety systems.

"People rely on their vehicles to earn their incomes, take their children to school, and for every day survival," Coben said. "The response of the manufacturers to this recall has been as grossly mismanaged as their response to the original problem 13 years ago."

The inadequate response of manufacturers has caught the attention of Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) who point out that disabling safety equipment violates the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (40 U.S.C) without a specific exemption from the Department of Transportation. The Senators are urging manufacturers to provide rental vehicles at no cost to consumers if their cars cannot be fixed immediately.

Additionally, plaintiffs and class members were effectively cheated by not receiving the benefit of their original bargain, Coben contends. The customers received vehicles that were of lesser standard, grade and quality than represented by the manufacturers. Drivers did not receive vehicles that would reliably operate with reasonable safety and not place them and their passengers in danger of an ongoing and undisclosed risk of harm. As a result, all purchasers overpaid for their vehicles, says the complaint.

The complaint alleges the airbag defects date back to at least 2000, and Takata -- the world's second largest manufacturer of automotive safety devices -- became aware of the defects as early as 2001. Despite the red flags raised then, the airbags' potentially lethal dangers were not disclosed to U.S. safety regulators until seven years and the production of millions of vehicles later in 2008. Since then, 11 automakers have recalled vehicle models worldwide.

The complaint details a long history of alleged deception and failures to report problems on the part of Takata and auto manufacturers. Plaintiffs in the class action reside in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona and California.

About Anapol Schwartz
Anapol Schwartz is a national leader in personal injury law. The firm has successfully litigated thousands of cases during the past 37 years. Anapol Schwartz attorneys have obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in successful verdicts, settlements and judgments on behalf of their clients. Visit the Anapol Schwartz personal injury law website at www.anapolschwartz.com.

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