Quinn Emanuel to file class action in Australia over airbags

After what could be the first death in Australia related to the world’s largest vehicle recall, the firm known worldwide for its litigation chops is heading to the Federal Court

Quinn Emanuel to file class action in Australia over airbags
With the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigating the recall of Takata Corp. airbags, a global law firm known for its litigation expertise is heading to the Federal Court of Australia to file an open class action.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is filing the suit against manufacturers, including Toyota, Honda, and Mazda, for allegedly breaching numerous provisions under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

“It is quite frankly, outrageous and almost inconceivable that there are over one million cars on Australian roads that contain a ‘safety’ product that could, at any time, explode with lethal force. People who are driving these cars need to enforce their consumer rights before there are any more tragedies,” said partner Damian Scattini, who has been working on the claim with litigation funder Regency Funding for more than a year.

The ACCC is currently seeking information from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD) and car manufacturers regarding Takata airbags, which are at the centre of the world’s largest vehicle recall ever. The consumer watchdog is also urging people to heed notices from manufacturers and retailers to have their cars’ airbags replaced.

Starting 2009, more than 2.3 million vehicles in Australia alone have been subject to recalls because of the Takata-made airbags. The ACCC said that 60 models of cars sold in the country – including from Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Lexus, Jeep, Nissan, Chrysler, and Dodge – have Takata airbags.

The investigation and the class action come after a man in New South Wales died on 13 July after his airbag “misdeployed,” the ACCC said. According to multiple reports, the 58-year-old man was driving a Honda CR-V under recall when he crashed into a Toyota vehicle in Cabramatta. The death could be the first Takata-related death in Australia.

A woman in the Northern Territory was also severely injured in April.

“[Under the ACL], goods specifically need to be safe. It is hard to imagine something which is less safe. These airbags have killed at least 18 people and injured more than 180 worldwide,” Scattini said.

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