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Takata Changes Airbag Components as 5th Death is Linked to the Defective Airbags

Takata Corp. recently announced that they modified the composition of an airbag propellant that contains a volatile chemical at the center of the 14 million vehicles recalled worldwide.

The company has not made an official announcement, but a Takata official spoke under anonymity to Reuters and said that the shift was part of its process of continual improvement. The company believes the new composition is safer than the one used before, but continues to deny that the original version was defected.

The official said the company used the modified mix in replacement bags fitted in cars brought in during the recalls, but he declined to specify when the change was made, which models the change was made to and how many have been installed.

Despite the company’s attempts to fix some of their issues, three senators are still calling on the Justice Department to investigate whether Takata lied in reports they filed with the government and who inside the company should be held responsible.

If the government follows through with a criminal investigation, which is likely, it would be the corporation’s second time under investigation. In 2013, Takata pleaded guilty to antitrust charges and was ordered to pay $71.3 million for its role in price-fixing the cost of seatbelts sold to auto manufacturers. Three Takata executive agreed to serve prison sentences for their participation in the conspiracy, their sentences ranged from 14 to 19 months.

Early Thursday morning, Honda announced that they confirmed yet another death linked to defective Takata airbags. A Malaysian driver died in July after being hit by shrapnel from an airbag, this is the first death reported outside the U.S.

Honda also added another 170,000 vehicles to their global recall, but none of the affected models were sold in North America.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective airbag, a personal injury lawyer from our law firm can help you determine what your legal options are.

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