« Go back to Blog Index

California Sees First Death from Faulty Airbag

I am sad to report that the carnage from the defective Takata airbags, which are currently the subject of a massive recall, has reached California. Jewel Brangman, who was only 26, was killed when the airbag of a rented Honda Civic she was driving exploded, cutting the left side of her neck and causing severe brain damage.

The death highlights an ongoing problem with recalls, namely, how to ensure that information about the recall reaches the vehicles’ owners. There may be a silver lining to Brangman’s death, in that it could help bolster regulators’ efforts to ban the sale or rental of vehicles with unrepaired recalls, said Mark Rosekind of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In the case of the defective airbags, it appears as though Takata may have placed profits over safety. According to a recently released batch of emails, Takata suspended safety audits from 2009-2011 due to financial reasons. Once these audits were resumed, safety issues were uncovered at the company’s plant in Mexico. Takata has said the emails were taken out of context.

Personally, I’m tried of reading about all these auto recalls, and saddened to think of the many people who may have been injured or killed by automakers’ alleged negligence. I’m proud of the work that Walker Advertising does to defend accident victims. If you are an attorney who is interested in helping defend the rights of people who have been injured in an auto accident or by a defective product, please email aoesterle@walkeradvertising.com or call 1-800-4WALKER.