Over 1,800 vehicles covering seven different models of Infiniti vehicles are slated for recall as parent company Nissan grapples with a nationwide recall of cars built with Takata airbags. Infiniti made the determination in October and over the next two months will inform vehicle owners to take their cars to Infiniti retailers for replacement. Defects in the airbags made by Japanese manufacturer Takata were first reported in states and territories with high humidity but have since been found in other states.
Infiniti is recalling the Takata airbags over concerns the chemical propellant used to inflate the airbag could become unstable and deploy with such force that it can rupture the metal cannister it is housed in, sending metal fragments flying into the vehicles occupants.
Infiniti vehicles subject to the Takata airbag recall include:
Takata had previously produced airbags with a more stable chemical propellant but changed its design after the 1990s. Engineers working for Takata had warned that the ammonium nitrate used to activate the airbag could become corrupted if exposed to moisture and rapid changes in temperature. It is suspected that the change in design came as a cost cutting measure in order to maintain margins in the very competitive industry of airbag manufacturing.
Major news outlets are reporting that Takata was aware of the dangers posed by using ammonium nitrate as a propellant back in 2001 when the Beta model airbag was developed and may have gone so far as to destroy and conceal safety tests performed in 2004. Closed circuit videos have also surfaced showing employees at Takata plants mishandling airbags as they were prepared for transportation.
In response to this a federal grand jury has been convened in New York, issuing subpoenas to Takata’s American division to answer questions over the issues of what Takata knew and when. The Senate Commerce Committee just recently held a hearing in which members of Takata and the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency (NHTSA) were both present. Takata executives acknowledged three deaths related to accidents involving airbags but pushed back at calls for a nationwide recall on vehicles installed with it airbags.
Seven different Infiniti models are under recall by the NHTSA. They include the 2001–2004 Infiniti I30/I35, 2002–2003 Infiniti QX4, 2003–2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45, and 2006 Infiniti M35/M45. The NHTSA is urging vehicle owners to visit its website and type in their VIN to confirm if their vehicle is under recall.
The experience attorneys at the Cochran Firm’s Washington, D.C. office are actively investigating claims of injuries suffered from faulty Takata airbags. Free case reviews with our dedicated attorneys are confidential and prompt. Strict deadlines apply to these cases so we ask that you contact us immediately at 202-682-5800 or fill out a contact form on our website.