Honda, Takata sued over exploding airbags

Posted at 11:38 AM, Oct 31, 2014

NEW YORK — Honda Motor and its airbag supplier Takata have been hit by a federal lawsuit over defective airbags that can explode and send shards of metal into passengers.

The suit, filed in federal court Thursday, seeks class action status on behalf of the owners of all five million Hondas affected by the recall, alleging that they’ve suffered inconvenience and financial losses.

It contends that owners have been hurt by having limited use of their cars as well as a decline in the resale value of their vehicles. The suit also says car owners have been told they’ll have to wait months before Honda and Takata have the replacements airbags needed to repair all the cars.

Finally, the suit alleges that Honda knew of the exploding airbag problem as early as 2001 but delayed recalling the cars.

The law firm which filed the suit, Hagens Berman, won more than $1 billion in a settlement from Toyota Motor for the decreased value of cars with an unintended acceleration problem. It is currently pursuing a similar case against General Motors on behalf of car owners with a faulty ignition switch tied to at least 30 deaths. The firm argues that case could have more than $10 billion in damages.

Spokesmen for both Honda and Takata declined to comment.