When defects are found in products, they are recalled from consumers and store shelves to keep everyone safe...most of the time.
In 2009, when Takata-brand airbags were found responsible for the death of Gurjit Rathore, her family sued Honda and the air bag maker for her wrongful death. Instead of alerting the public to an extremely hazardous product, the companies and the plaintiffs agreed to a "protective order" that would seal the documents from public view.
Instead of saving lives, Takata Airbags has been found responsible for over one hundred injuries in the United States. Air bag shrapnel from deployed Takata air bags have killed four people, yet Takata rejected federal regulators' demands for an expanded, nationwide recall in December 2014.
Honda has settled five air bag injury claims confidentially since 2004. Instead of correcting their mistakes, evidence and documents were concealed, putting even more drivers at risk for injury and death. The automaker began recalling defective airbags in 2008 and has announced new recalls in all fifty states.
The recalls are long overdue, considering these companies knew of the dangers of their products long before multiple injuries and deaths occurred. Drivers of all vehicles are encouraged to educate themselves about the make, model, and possible problems with their cars, but how can they do so if important information is hidden from view?