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Car companies may have used defective product despite known risks

Residents of Washington, D.C. may have been affected by a dangerous product that has killed almost a dozen people and seriously injured nearly 200 more across the nation. An overseas company, Takata, has been involved in an ongoing lawsuit over its air bags. Recent allegations have surfaced that also seem to incriminate a number of major auto companies as well, claiming they were aware of the risks involved with using the defective product but continued to do so anyway.

The Takata manufacturing company has been involved in a civil lawsuit since 2015 and has been under investigation by the Department of Justice. Recently, the company admitted that its employees had doctored data, falsifying and even omitting information in an attempt make their air bags appear safer. As part of an agreement with the Justice Department, Takata entered a guilty plea and will pay fines and restitution in the amount of $1 billion to victims.

However, recently filed documents raise the issue of whether the Japanese company shoulders the blame alone. The allegations claim that car companies Ford, BMW, Nissan, Honda and Toyota were aware of the dangers associated with the Takata air bags, but continued to use them in vehicles for over a decade. Despite the risks, they continued installing them in millions of automobiles because the Takata products were cheaper than those of competitors.

Hundreds of U.S. citizens have been seriously injured or even killed because of the defective product. Anyone in Washington, D.C. who suffered injury because of these air bags (or the surviving family members of those who were killed) can seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney to discuss what steps to take. In fact, anyone who has been injured by any sort of dangerous or defective product has the right to speak to an attorney with experience in product disability cases.

Source: The Washington Post, "Lawsuit alleges automakers knew of deadly Takata air-bag defects", Steven Overly, Feb. 27, 2017

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