Louisiana Record

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Man demands jury trial over alleged Takata airbag failure

By John Sammon | Jun 1, 2018

Airbags are tested at the Vehicle Research & Testing Center, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. | Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

ALEXANDRIA – A man is suing the manufacturer and distributor of what he maintained was a defective airbag that allegedly failed to properly deploy during an accident, causing him alleged physical injury.

The lawsuit brought by Harry Braxton of Natchitoches in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana Alexandria Division on May 29 alleges that defendants, Takata Corp., T.K. Holdings Inc., Highland Industries Inc. and General Motors Co. (GM) supplied him with an airbag for his car knowing it was defective.

“At all pertinent times, the defendants knew of the dangers and risks posed by the Takata airbags,” the lawsuit alleged.

Takata, based in Tokyo, Japan, is a supplier of auto safety systems while its subsidiary, T.K. Holdings Inc. based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, is a designer and tester of airbags in the U.S. Highland Industries of Greensboro, North Carolina, another Takata subsidiary, makes textile products for use in airbags. GM is a Detroit-based automaker.

On May 28, 2017 Braxton was driving a 2000 Chevrolet 1500 southbound on interstate 49 when his vehicle hit water in the road from a recent rain, which reportedly caused the vehicle to skid into a bridge rail, spinning the vehicle clockwise. The airbags failed to deploy, causing him severe injuries, according to court documents.

The complaint said GM was the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the Chevrolet that contained defective airbags produced and sold by Takata.

“When people operate a motor vehicle or ride in one as a passenger, they trust and rely on the manufacturers of those vehicles to make sure the vehicles are safe,” the complaint read. “Takata and the vehicle manufacturer defendants (GM) knew or should have known the Takata airbags installed in millions of cars were defective.”

Attorneys for Braxton also noted that the airbags, in addition to being defective, were also prone to release shrapnel upon deployment, posing another hazard to the occupants.  

The lawsuit alleges that as a result Braxton suffered physical, mental and emotional injury, as well as pain, mental anguish and suffering.



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U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana