A U.S. Senate Commerce Committee hearing has heard testimony regarding defective airbags that have been responsible for the deaths of eight people and for the injuries of over a hundred more. A report released by the staff of a Democratic senator on the committee has claimed that safety checks at facilities involved in the production of the airbags were halted for two years. Residents of Essex may recall that the defect has led to what may be the largest product recall in U.S. history.
A vice president of the U.S. subsidiary of Takata, who manufacture the defective airbags, spoke of further problems facing the company. Although it has been seven years since the first recall, it is still unable to isolate the cause of the defect in the airbags. With approximately 34 million vehicles being recalled, the time involved in developing and testing for a solution has meant that the production of enough replacement parts could take years.
Defending itself against the accusation that it stopped safety checks, Takata stated that it had in fact maintained safety and quality audits and that the suspension the report referred to was in regard to safety checks on employees handling various materials. The company went on to say that the report created an incorrect portrayal of events by using information from dated, inaccurate articles and portions of internal emails.
A product is considered to be defective if it failed to meet the reasonable expectations of the consumer when it was used for the purpose it was designed for and in the manner it was intended. The user should also take into consideration any warnings or safety features that accompany the product. People who have been injured by a product may wish to consult with a solicitor for legal advice regarding a product that they believe was defective.