(CN) - Federal class actions in Los Angeles and Miami accuse air-bag manufacturer Takata and major automakers of fraudulently concealing potentially fatal defects in air bag inflators.
Plaintiffs in both cases claim that Takata airbags can violently explode and expel lethal amounts of metal debris and shrapnel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday said it had "received notification from BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota that they are conducting limited regional recalls to address a possible safety defect involving Takata brand air bag inflators."
The NHTSA said it had received "six reports of air bag inflator ruptures, all of which occurred in Florida and Puerto Rico."
"Based on the limited data available at this time, NHTSA supports efforts by automakers to address the immediate risk in areas that have consistently hot, humid conditions over extended periods of time," the NHTSA said.
In Los Angeles, lead plaintiff David Takeda et al. seek certification of a nationwide class, and damages for violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, fraudulent concealment, false advertising, unfair competition, breach of implied warranty, and negligent failure to recall. They also want the defendants ordered to repair the affected vehicles as quickly as possible.
Their lead counsel is Roland Tellis, with Baron & Budd, of Encino. That office is co-counsel in the Miami lawsuit as well; lead counsel there is Peter Prieto with Podhurst & Orseck.
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