Madigan & 45 Attorneys General File Settlement Over Exploding Air Bags
CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced she has joined with 44 other attorneys general to reach a settlement with air bag manufacturer TK Holdings Inc. (Takata) over exploding air bags installed in millions of vehicles around the country.
Madigan and the attorneys general filed the agreement in Takata’s ongoing bankruptcy proceedings and are asking the judge to confirm the settlement as part of the bankruptcy plan.
The settlement follows a massive recall of Takata’s ammonium nitrate air bags that can deteriorate with age and heat causing them to explode. The airbags are installed in front of both the driver and passenger seats in various vehicle models manufactured by most major car companies. The explosions have resulted in 20 consumer deaths and numerous other injuries nationwide. The airbags have since been recalled, affecting more than 2 million air bags in Illinois alone.
Under the settlement, Takata will continue recall efforts, and Takata and the auto manufacturers will fund replacement air bags. Consumers whose vehicles are equipped with the hazardous airbags are receiving recall notices. These notices will contain important consumer information, including how to schedule air bag replacements. More than 60 million of Takata’s ammonium nitrate air bags have already been recalled.
“The Takata air bag recall is the largest recall in the auto industry in history, yet the number of people who have had their car’s airbags replaced is low,” Madigan said. “Illinois residents will not have to pay for replacement air bags. It is critical that people take the time to find out if their car’s airbags need to be replaced to protect themselves and their passengers from potential tragedy.”
Illinois residents who are unsure if they are impacted by the recall can visit safercar.gov and enter their vehicle’s VIN to find out whether it is included in the recall.
Also under the settlement, Takata is prohibited from deceptive advertising or misrepresenting the air bags’ safety. Takata must also discontinue production of ammonium nitrate air bags.
Assistant Bureau Chief Greg Grzeskiewicz and Assistant Attorney General Cassandra Halm handled the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.