Jacksonville Woman Sues over Airbag Injuries
A Jacksonville woman has filed a lawsuit against Honda Motor Company and airbag manufacturer Takata Corp. for being rendered a quadriplegic when her driver’s side air bag exploded. Patricia Mincey claims that the companies concealed the defective nature of their airbag system from consumers for more than a decade before her accident in June, 2014.
Details of the Lawsuit
According to the complaint in Patricia Mincey v. Honda Motor Comp., Takata Corp.¸ filed in the Fourth District Court in Florida, both Honda and Takata along with various other subsidiary companies knew of the dangers associated with the defective air bags through a series of consumer complaints, lawsuits, and other claims. Ms. Mincey claims that five other people have died and 139 people have been injured as a result of the defective Takata air bags in Honda vehicles over the past 13 years.
The lawsuit claims that Honda and Takata failed to report, underreported, or omitted important information regarding the product defect to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and four days after Ms. Mincey’s accident Honda issued a recall for their vehicles that were installed with Takata airbags that may release with excessive force. The recall cited the humidity in Florida that could result in excessive internal air bag pressure.
“This litigation takes Honda and Takata to task for their egregious disregard for consumer safety. The companies were aware for more than a decade that these air bags had the potential to violently explode and seriously injure or even kill occupants, yet they failed to take responsibility for producing and installing a safe product and/or recalling the defective air bags. Even in the June 2014 recall, Honda downplayed the situation by using the term ‘energetic’ air-bag deployment to describe the very defect that catastrophically and permanently injured Patricia Mincey.” As a result of the accident, Ms. Mincey suffered catastrophic spinal cord injuries that left her a quadriplegic.
Developments in the Product Recall
In October 2014, the NHTSA expanded the list of recalled vehicles affected by the installation of defective Takata air bags to more than ten automakers and eight million vehicles. More than five million of those vehicles were Honda automobiles. Then, earlier last month the NHTSA fined Honda $70 million for failing to report 1,729 death and injury claims tied to their vehicles between 2003 and 2014, an unprecedented amount. Many of those death and injury claims were tied to defective airbags in the Honda vehicles.
One expert stated that “”Product liability cases like this one often unveil a pattern of defrauding consumers in order to protect manufacturer profits. Sadly, a massive human cost, such as that sustained by Patricia Mincey and her family, is often paid before a recall is issued.”
Call a Florida Lawyer Today
If you or someone that you know has been injured by an airbag or other defective product in Jacksonville, Tampa, Fort Meyers, Orlando, or the West Palm Beach area, let the experienced product liability lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm help. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential review of your claims.