February 3, 2016
The New York Times reports that Honda Motor is expanding its Takata airbag recall by more than a third in North America. The carmaker has already recalled as many as 8.51 million Honda and Acura vehicles in the United States — a third of the recall’s overall total.
This recall is related to an announcement made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month that five million vehicles with the defective Takata airbags would have to be recalled. To date, fourteen automakers have recalled about 28 million inflators in 24 million vehicles.
The defective airbags in question can reportedly rupture upon deployment, launching debris into the car’s cabin. At least 10 deaths (nine of which were in vehicles made by Honda) and more than 100 injuries have been attributed to this defect.
According to Honda, the expanded recall affects driver-side airbags in the 2007-11 Honda CR-V crossover, 2011-15 CR-Z coupe, 2009-14 Fit subcompact, 2007-14 Ridgeline sport utility truck, 2010-14 Honda Insight hybrid and 2010-14 FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel-cell models. The recall also affects several Acura luxury models: the 2005-12 Acura RL, 2007-16 RDX, 2009-14 TL, 2010-13 ZDX and 2013-16 ILX
Under Virginia’s complex products liability law, designers, manufacturers and sellers of dangerous or defective products may be financially responsible for injuries or fatalities caused by a product’s defective condition.
Generally speaking, Virginia law requires that products must be reasonably safe for its intended purposes and for its reasonably foreseeable uses. When a product does not meet this standard, resulting in injury, Virginians may pursue three types of product liability claims:
Manufacturing Defect: Product is damaged in the manufacturing process and that damage then causes the product to malfunction and cause an injury.
Design Defect: Product has a design flaw that causes the product to be unreasonably dangerous even when it is used as it was intended to be used.
Failure to Warn: Possible dangers are not communicated on the product label or instructional materials.
Unlike most other states, Virginia law does not apply the doctrine of “strict liability” to legal actions regarding injuries from defective products. This means that a plaintiff must prove that the designer, manufacturer (or manufacturer of a component part), or distributor of a product acted negligently, resulting in injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective or unreasonably dangerous product may be entitled to compensatory damages – such as past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, etc. – and possibly punitive damages.
However, the deadline for filing a product liability lawsuit in Virginia is usually two years from the date of injury, so time is of the essence. Contact the experienced Virginia personal injury and product liability attorneys at ReidGoodwin today to schedule a legal evaluation.