Settlement over defective airbags means money for more than 40K AZ car owners

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“It’s really important that people understand how dangerous these defective airbags are,” Levine said. “There are literally tens of millions of these defective airbags that remain in vehicles. The older the vehicle, the higher the risk.”

by Susan Campbell 

October 21, 2020 

PHOENIX (3 On Your Side) — Arizona has reached a $5 million settlement with Honda related to faulty Takata airbags, and 3 On Your Side has learned that thousands of Arizona car owners will get a piece of it. 

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich claims that the carmaker has concealed known safety issues with Takata airbags in some of its vehicles for years. Despite recall announcements and awareness campaigns, many dangerous Takata airbags remain in cars, including one involved in a deadly crash in Mesa on Aug. 20, 2020. 

According to Honda, the driver of a 2002 Honda Civic was killed when a recalled Takata airbag inflator ruptured. Metal shrapnel was discovered in Amber Strahan’s neck during an autopsy, a report from the Mesa Police Department revealed. The airbag inflator had been under recall since December 2011. 

Strahan’s death is the second in Arizona and the 17th nationwide related to a faulty Takata airbag, Honda said. According to the company, Strahan was not the registered owner of the vehicle. 

“Starting in January 2012, more than 15 mailed recall notices were sent over the course of eight years to registered owners of this vehicle before the August 2020 crash,” a company statement said. “In addition, Honda made numerous phone calls in an attempt to reach owners of this vehicle and physically visited the address of the current owner, leaving recall information attached to the home’s front door.” 

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family of the driver,” Honda added. 

Under Brnovich’s new settlement with Honda, there will be a financial incentive to get recalled airbags off the road. 

“We know there’s a family that lost a loved one, not only here in Arizona, but it’s happened in other places. And so we want to make sure that people know about this, and as soon as possible, they get those airbags replaced,” Brnovich said. 

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