On Feb. 20, a federal judge here in Miami held the first hearing involving potential class-action suits over defective air bags made by Takata Corp. The Japanese company's air bags have been the subject of government scrutiny for a flaw that reportedly causes their inflators to deploy so forcefully that they rupture and shrapnel flies at the occupants.
So far, 64 injuries worldwide have been blamed on the air bags in vehicles manufactured by ten auto makers. At least six fatalities have been reported. The plaintiffs seeking damages for injuries are outnumbered, however, by those asking for compensation for their vehicles' loss in value.