HOUSTON – A local family has taken a legal step in their claim that a faulty airbag caused their loved one's death. Carlos Solis' family has just filed a lawsuit against the airbag maker and a major car maker.
Six weeks ago, Scott Solis lost his best friend and older brother, Carlos Solis, who was driving a 2002 Honda Accord when he was involved in a minor wreck. But that's not what killed him.
"I got there, held his neck, tried to stop the bleeding," said Scott Solis said.
The autopsy, now included in a lawsuit filed by Scott Solis and his brother's widow, shows a large piece of metal shrapnel, part of the airbag inflator system, exploded through the airbag, cut through Carlos Solis' windpipe, and severed his carotid artery and jugular vein. The airbag was made by Takata, a Japanese company.
The lawsuit alleges that for over a decade, Takata and Honda ignored or hid test results that showed the risks and dangers of exploding airbag inflators.
Both companies are also being accused of using ammonium nitrate to inflate their airbags.
"And that conspires to create a hugely dangerous bomb inside a driver's side airbag," said attorney Jim Perdue Jr.
Carlos Solis bought the car in 2014. Even though it was included in a 2011 recall, repairs were never made because he never received any notice. By suing, the family hopes to prevent any more deaths.
"They need to realize that this affects families, this affects people. I hope we can change the way that recall procedures happen and I hope that these companies take it seriously. I hope these companies realize they are killing innocent people," Scott Solis said.
At least six deaths have been linked to Takata airbags.