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Lawsuit Against Honda, Takata Alleges Defective Airbag Caused Death

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March 6, 2015—The Houston product liability law firm Perdue & Kidd LLP filed a lawsuit against Honda Motor Co. and Takata Corporation Thursday, claiming the airbag in Carlos Solis's Honda Accord was defective and killed him after deploying in a minor collision.

At least six fatalities and more than 100 injuries have been linked to faulty Takata airbag systems.

On January 18, 2015, Carlos Solis, was driving a 2002 Honda Accord in Spring, Texas, when he was involved in a minor wreck with another car. According to the suit, the driver side airbag engaged and inflated in the collision. A large piece of metal from the airbag inflator exploded through the airbag. The shrapnel entered Solis's neck, severed his carotid artery and jugular vein, fractured his windpipe, and lodged in his shoulder and cervical spine. The lawsuit details these findings from the autopsy by the Harris County Medical Examiner, who retrieved the metal disc from the body and described the airbag inflator component as a  "foreign object."

Nicole Solis, Solis's widow and administrator of Solis's estate, is filing suit against both Takata Corporation and Honda Motor Co. for the allegedly defective airbag. The lawsuit alleges that Honda and Takata have known about exploding airbag inflators and resulting injuries and deaths for over a decade. The filing claims that Honda and Takata knowingly chose ammonium nitrate, the same highly explosive chemical used in the Oklahoma City bombing, to inflate their airbags.

"No other airbag manufacturer uses this chemical. Honda and Takata put a ticking bomb inside these vehicles and just waited to see how many would go off," attorney Jim M. Perdue said in a release. “Honda and Takata allegedly became aware of explosive events in Honda vehicles as early as 2004. After testing, Honda and Takata allegedly ignored or hid the test results, and delayed recall efforts for the rest of the decade.”

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