Honda, Takata sued over fatality in Malaysia

The death of a pregnant woman due to an airbag deployment in an automobile accident in Malaysia caused her father to sue the Takata Corporation as well as the Honda Motor Co. in the U.S. The facts read as follows:

On July 27, 2014, Law Sukh Leh, aged forty-two (42) and pregnant, was driving her 2003 Honda in the Bromeo Islands, Malaysia. She was travelling at about a speed of 20 miles an hour when was hit by another vehicle at an intersection. A metal fragment sliced into her neck in the low speed crash. She died in the ambulance before reaching the hospital. She was survived by a ten (10) year old son. Her daughter, who was delivered after her death, died three days later. See Law Ngee Chiong, et al. v. Takata Corp., et al., No. 1:15-cv-21635, S.D. Fla.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, airbags might malfunction if exposed to consistent high humidity, and have been deploying with too much force, as also shooting metal pieces into drivers and passengers.

This was not the only case of its kind, but six deaths including Leh’s have been filed in the U.S. based on such shrapnel exposed through Takata airbags. Law Nee Chiong, Leh’s father decided to sue in the U.S. because the defective airbag at issue was made in Lagrange, Georgia. He sued on behalf of her estate and the estate of his granddaughter.

Leh’s father has been combined with about two dozen airbag personal injury and death claims in Miami for pretrial rulings and evidence gathering.[1] One case is that of Amy C. Patterson in Georgia on October 9, 2014 wherein an unexpected, overly volatile explosion of the driver’s side Takata airbag inflator in her 2001 Honda Accord expelled metal shrapnel causing severe cuts, lacerations and abrasions to her body in various locations.[2] Similarly, in another, Plaintiff Sabra Wilson, on March 21, 2015, in Louisiana, was involved in an explosion of the passenger-side Takata airbag inflator in her 2006 Nissan Sentra1, which expelled shrapnel and violently ruptured the airbag with overly-excessive force.[3] The allegation includes concealment of quality issues and defects in the airbags. (In re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, No. 15-02599-CIV-Moreno, MDL No. 15-2599, S.D. Fla.).

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