More than 140 million vehicles equipped with defective Takata airbags have been recalled since the crisis came to national attention in 2014. However, auto safety advocate Jerry Cox said that millions of vehicles with this airbag could still be on the road today.
Cox had advocated for auto safety, specifically for airbags, since at least the 1980s when he co-authored a brief for a Supreme Court case that ultimately stopped a repeal of airbag requirements for vehicles. He was later tapped by Takata executives for advice on the airbag crisis.
However, he said that when he told them to come clean about the airbag defects, he said that Takata ignored his advice.
The airbag crisis that caused at least 25 deaths led him to author a book titled “Killer Airbags: How to Protect Yourself from the Worst Disaster in Automotive History.”
Corey Burdick was one such victim of the Takata airbag crisis. He told ABC7 reporter Lisa Fletcher that he lost his right eye when his Takata airbag deployed.
“You can see in there where it was cut in three pieces,” Burdick told Fletcher, showing her pictures of his injuries. “The piece of metal was in there and it lodged into this cavity here. It was a millimeter from my brain. It could have went the other way and I could be six feet under the ground right now like I don’t know how many people are.”
Nobody wants to be driving around with a hand grenade in your car, but for those 6 million, that hand grenade, the pin’s already been pulled on those,” Cox told WJLA-TV. “There’s not any excuse whatsoever for those to still be on the road.”