Automobiles have many working parts. Additionally, motor vehicle companies rely on products from other companies when designing, developing and manufacturing automobiles. While this process and long chain of suppliers often leads to properly working and reliable vehicles, this could also result in a dangerous product due to a defective product in the motor vehicle.
According to recent reports, Nissan announced that it decided to cut ties with Takata, an airbag distributor. This decision follows suite of two other major automobile companies, Honda and Toyota. Preliminary reports state that this recent decision was based on the faulty airbag products produced by Takata and the several deaths and injuries their airbags are responsible for.
The airbag distributor was recently fined $70 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing to report the defects in their product. After it was discovered that Takata allegedly misrepresented and manipulated their test data for certain airbag inflators -- specifically their ammonium nitrate filled airbags -- Honda, Toyota and Nissan dropped their products because the focus of these companies remain on the customer's safety.
The defect found in these airbags causes them to explode and shoot pieces of shrapnel in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. And while the company is already facing hefty fines, Takata could also lose another $130 million if it is found that they didn't fully comply with the orders or if new violations are found.
When a defective auto part causes consumer injury, it is important to understand how to hold the manufacturer of that part and even the manufacturer of the vehicle responsible for the losses and damages the defect caused. An investigation could help reveal cause and liability, helping an injured consumer with a products liability action.