In spite of the fact that a company can face large fines and be forced to pay for damages to injured customers, potentially deadly products find their way from manufacturing factories and into the hands of consumers. An apparent case in point being defective airbags produced by a company called Takata.
The airbags in question have the potential to explode. When the airbags explode, they send shrapnel flying and injure vehicle occupants. Thus far, exploding Takata airbags are said to have caused 180 serious injuries and at least 11 deaths in the United States.
But recently, three former Takata executives were indicted in relation to the dangerous airbags. Additionally, the Justice Department said that Takata responded by entering a guilty plea to corporate criminal charges and will now pay a $1 billion fine.
The vast majority of the fine will be used to compensate automakers who used the airbags and now must bear the costs of making repairs. But $125 million of the fine will be put into a fund that will provide compensation to victims and their families.
The problems caused by the defective Takata airbags are extensive, affecting 42 million U.S. motor vehicles. It is estimated that the recall will not be completed until 2023. In fact, there are still cars rolling off assembly lines that are equipped with airbags that will probably need replacing.
If a company knowingly makes a dangerous product available to the general public, it should be held accountable for its actions. But taking on a large company requires knowledgeable and experienced representation. If you or a family member have suffered an injury due to a defective consumer product, an attorney who understands the complexities of product liability cases may be able to help you get appropriate compensation.
Source: Fox 13 Salt Lake City, “Three Takata executives indicted over exploding airbags; company to pay $1 billion fine,” Chris Isidore, Jan. 14, 2017