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Auto Recalls & Takata Airbags Tied to Catastrophic Injuries

Automotive Recalls & Takata Airbags – What They Knew, When They Knew It

In 2016, about 90% of Americans who were of driving age owned a vehicle and they drove about 3.22 trillion miles (yes, that’s trillion with a “t”). With so many cars on the road, it can be frightening when you consider that automotive recalls hit an all time high affecting 53.2 million vehicles. If you were injured by a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment that was recalled, you may be eligible to make a claim.

What They Knew

Takata airbags has been called “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history” by The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). These faulty products were put into vehicles made by 19 different automakers from the years 2002-2015. The problem is that these airbags can forcefully deploy causing severe injuries or even death to the driver. They also can cause metal shards to fly throughout the cabin threatening passenger safety. This recall alone is said to affect 37 million vehicles.

Ford Motor Company’s top-of-the-line Super Duty F-Series trucks have recently been put in the spotlight. They were advertised as getting better gas mileage than their other F-Series models while also being marketed as “the cleanest super diesel ever.” However, some experts are citing that these specialty trucks are giving off emissions as much as 50 times the legal limit for nitrogen oxide pollutants and suspect that the on-board diagnostic software is deliberating showing false results.

Honda Odyssey minivans are some of the most popular family vehicles on the market. However, vans that were made between 2002-2017 have second row outboard seats that may not securely latch. If the vehicle brakes quickly, these seats may tip forward causing passenger injuries.

Hyundai is recalling over a million of their cars due to vehicle malfunctions. 2011-2014 Sonatas and 2011-2015 Sonata Hybrids have front seat belts that could detach from the seat belt anchor during a collision. 2013-2014 Sonata and Santa Fe Sport models have been reported to have a seized engine on the road due to limited oil delivery to the connecting rod bearings.

(These are just a sampling of the many recent vehicle recalls that are in the news. You can visit the NHTSA’s website for a list of current vehicle recalls.)

When They Knew

Recalls are usually necessary in two situations: either the motor vehicle or its equipment (including tires) does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard or if there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or equipment. The United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety (Title 49, Chapter 301) defines motor vehicle safety as “the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle.”

In the Takata case, several emails were discovered from the years 1999 – 2000 sharing that the propellant used to inflate the airbags was problematic and could cause injuries to drivers. Additionally, testing of Takata’s inflaters in 1999 and 2000 at the Honda facility resulted in at least two inflaters rupturing. This happened a full eight years before the first Takata airbag recall which occured in 2008, and yet these airbags were still used in millions of cars.

A Timeline for Takata Airbag Settlements

  • March 20, 2018 – Only six out of the 17 automakers have decent loaner car policies for customers who are having their vehicles serviced to replace the faulty Takata airbags.
  • February 23, 2018 – A Delaware bankruptcy judge approves a plan agreed upon by Takata and its creditors to organize a trust fund to compensate the victims of the malfunctioning airbags.  Automakers also decide to contribute between $90 million to $137 million to the trust fund.
  • June 26, 2017 – Takata files for bankruptcy.
  • February 28, 2017 – Takata pleads guilty to lying to automakers about the safety of its airbags.
  • May 4, 2016 – The massive Takata airbag recall includes 35-40 million airbag inflators. This is in addition to the 28.8 million airbags already recalled.
  • November 3, 2015 – NHTSA imposes a record breaking civil penalty of approximately $200 million against Takata.
  • May 19, 2015 – Takata acknowledges that the airbag inflators it produced for certain vehicles were faulty affecting approximately 33.8 million vehicles.
  • February 20, 2015 – NHTSA fines Takata $14,000 per day for not cooperating with the their investigation.
  • November 7, 2014The New York Times published a report stating that Takata was aware of airbag malfunctions years before the company reported it to federal regulators.

What You Should Know About the Takata Airbag Recall

Since so many cars on the road have Takata airbags, many drivers have been frustrated concerning airbag shortages and not being able to have this potentially dangerous part replaced. Although Takata has increased its output of replacement kits, it may take years to address the millions of cars that this recall impacts. Takata has also reported that they are incorporating competitors’ products in half of the inflator-replacement kits and expects that number to reach more than 70 percent to meet the needs of so many consumers.

Additionally, age and temperature are critical factors to consider if your car has a recalled airbag. The older the product is or if you live in a humid environment such as Florida, Georgia, or Hawaii, the more likely it is to malfunction.

Some consumers have joined class-action lawsuits to try to receive financial compensation. For example, a group of BMW, Mazda, Subaru, and Toyota owners reached a preliminary settlement in June 2017. They were awarded cash payments and loaner cars until their vehicles had the faulty parts replaced.

What Can You Do

While each recall and circumstance is unique, there are many times when a car manufacturer knows that they are distributing or using a faulty device and still fails to warn drivers. If you or a loved one was injured due to a dangerous motor vehicle or its equipment, you may be able to make a claim against the motor company. Contact us today so that we can help you to determine if you are eligible to file a claim.

Automotive Recall Warnings In The News

1/19/18: Takata Airbag Recall - Everything You Need to Know

Vehicles made by 19 different automakers have been recalled to replace frontal airbags on the driver’s side or passenger’s side, or both in what NHTSA has called “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.” The airbags, made by major parts supplier Takata, were mostly installed in cars from model year 2002 through 2015. Some of those airbags could deploy explosively, injuring or even killing car occupants.

Read Full Article

1/10/18: Ford Rigged Diesel Trucks to Beat Emissions Tests, Lawsuit Alleges

Ford Motor Co. rigged at least 500,000 heavy-duty trucks to beat emissions tests, drivers allege in a lawsuit filed Wednesday. The suit adds Ford to the tally of automakers linked to diesel-cheating allegations worldwide that started in 2015 with Volkswagen.

Read Full Article

12/20/17: The Biggest and Noteworthy Auto Recalls of 2017

The auto industry witnessed a record number of recalls in 2016 reaching 52,985,779 in total. That’s a steep number that was plumped up in large part due to the massive Takata airbag campaign that ultimately drove the Japanese company into bankruptcy.

To date, recalls for 2017 punch in at 28,146,661 with Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Ford, Hyundai and BMW leading the way. That’s not a small number, but it’s a far cry from the 2016 levels. Here’s a look at some of the biggest and noteworthy auto recalls issued this year.

Read Full Article

3/10/17: Auto Recalls Hit Record 53.2 Million in 2016

Automakers recalled a record 53.2 million vehicles last year in the United States after a massive expansion of the callbacks to replace Takata Corp. airbag inflators, the U.S. Transportation Department said on Friday.

Under aggressive enforcement by the Obama administration, automakers issued a record 927 recall campaigns, up 7 percent over the previous high in 2015. The previous all-time high of 51.1 million was set in 2015, the department said in a statement.

Read Full Article

GET YOUR FREE Automotive Recall CASE REVIEW TODAY

Automotive Recall settlements are now being negotiated, but there is a limited window to pursue help. If you think you, a friend, or a family member may qualify, get your free case review today… before it’s too late!

  • * Submit now to learn if you may be eligible for a cash settlement or call (800) 511-3838 now.

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The Step-By-Step Guide To Taking Action

How to File for Financial Settlement After Injury from an Unsafe Drug or Device

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The Step-By-Step Guide To Taking Action

How to File for Financial Settlement After Injury from an Unsafe Drug or Device

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Crystal Mesh – Audiobook

Dr. Chris DeArmitt, who is a consultant to the top technology firms in America, told Sky News: “I see an absolute disregard for proper testing. Testing is way less than you would see on a vacuum cleaner or a washing machine. It’s shocking. I’ve never seen anything like it in my career.”

No Testing, Fast Approval, Injured Patients: Is the FDA Finally Listening to Mesh Survivors?

You might be wondering “Testing for what?” You would probably be shocked to find out that “more than 90 percent of medical devices do not require proof that they have been clinically tested and found to be safe and effective prior to FDA clearance for distribution or sale,” shares Consumers Union project director Lisa McGiffert in an article from the Fowler Tribune.

This loophole in the FDA is called the 510(k) process and it has allowed millions of patients to be irreparably harmed – and even killed – by the very device that was intended to help them. Now after several decades of patient injuries, billions of dollars being fought over in court, and countless devices being pulled from market (too little, too late, we might add), the FDA is only now looking into changing this horrific flaw in their system.

What is the FDA’s 510(k) Process?

The FDA’s 510(k) process allows medical devices companies to quickly fast-track a product to market based on a pre-approved product. This idea came about decades ago with the purpose to promote innovation but has instead become a way for big companies to slip their products to market for high profits while avoiding expensive testing. This has caused several inexcusable problems to arise. Here’s one tragic example: 

Transvaginal Mesh

A medical device can be approved for market based on a previous model, even one that was recalled. This is what happened in the huge debacle involving vaginal mesh. Protegen was the first vaginal mesh product on the market, but was recalled due to patient harm. However, even after it was pulled, dozens of additional mesh devices were sold and implanted in patients based on this poor design. Currently, hundreds of thousands of women are suffering from mesh and many will have to live with chronic pain, the impossibility of holding down a job, and the inability to have sex with their partners for the rest of their lives. 

But this story includes many more products beyond vaginal mesh-like IVC filters to prevent blood clots, Essure female sterilization devices, hip replacement products, and countless others.  The New York Times reports that these fast-tracked devices have caused 80,000 deaths and more than two million injuries.

Change is in the Air 

Fortunately, with documentaries like The Bleeding Edge, social media groups criticizing the FDA’s process, and advocacy groups, the FDA is reevaluating how it approves devices for market. According to the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Network,

“For premarket review of 510(k) devices, on February 1, 2019, the FDA released a Final Guidance Document for the ‘Safety and Performance Based Pathway.’ This optional pathway consists of using criteria that involve conformance to FDA-recognized consensus standards, FDA guidance, and/or special controls. It enables 510(k) clearance for certain medical devices if the device meets these specific criteria, which should include safety and effectiveness (as opposed to the often ill-defined ‘substantial equivalence’ to predicate devices). The decision to use this new pathway is determined by manufacturers, although the FDA can disagree with this determination.”

While this is a step in the right direction by requiring device companies to prove safety and effectiveness, many think that these changes don’t go far enough towards protecting patient health. For instance, JAMA suggests that “legislation should mandate that 510(k) devices show improved safety and effectiveness compared with marketed devices for the same clinical purpose, using meaningful clinical criteria to gain clearance. Although these criteria will differ based on the intended use of the device, all criteria should be based on patient-oriented clinical outcomes.”

Additionally, once a product is approved for market, many times the post-market surveillance falls to the wayside. Medical devices should have a registry so that patients can know what devices are implanted in them, doctors can properly treat problems that may arise, and companies can monitor their products more effectively. Car parts are meticulously tracked, shouldn’t medical devices be all the more!?!

Too Little, Too Late

It’s great that the FDA is reviewing it’s 510(k) process that has been grossly overused and under monitored for decades, but what about those who have already been harmed by an agency that favored billion-dollar medical device companies over the health and wellness of patients?

One way that this FDA change was brought about was through the voices and bravery of those who were injured by these faulty medical devices. If you or a loved one had vaginal mesh and had corrective surgery, your voice needs to be heard. Please call Periscope Group today at (800) 511-3838. It’s time to hold medical device companies accountable for the unbearable pain they caused you. We want to hear your story and we want to help you if we can.

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Sources
“Vaginal mesh: Tests on plastic material ‘way less’ thorough than on washing machine”. Sky News. Accessed August 5, 2019. https://news.sky.com/story/vaginal-mesh-tests-on-plastic-material-way-less-thorough-than-on-washing-machine-11772530?fbclid=IwAR0ieT27Sh1V8q53Vt7y3BH2PK1M9akqoLCAFvnf1JskMeAOu10yvzgEi20
“Moving From Substantial Equivalence to Substantial Improvement for 510(k) Devices”. JAMA Network. Accessed August 5, 2019. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2744408?fbclid=IwAR04Fkrn-A1NbJDUkuOOOU-EhA55G5kkXUYJWGIb8y-MftOdFTQ0hrk_Bl0
“Medical Device Testing: Too Much, or Not Enough?” ADMET. Accessed August 5, 2019. https://www.admet.com/medical-device-testing-too-much-or-not-enough/

Periscope Group is not owned by or operated on behalf of any attorney or law firm. We are not affiliated with any drug or medical device companies. We do not host advertisements nor do we accept advertising requests. We are here to help YOU, the consumer, become better educated and supported. You pay absolutely nothing for our help. It’s as simple as that.

Periscope Group is not owned by or operated on behalf of any attorney or law firm. We are not affiliated with any drug or medical device companies. We do not host advertisements nor do we accept advertising requests. We are here to help YOU, the consumer, become better educated and supported. You pay absolutely nothing for our help. It’s as simple as that.

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