Included in IMPO's top five news stories: An unusual crash in Canada five years ago leads to a global Toyota SUV recall and an investigation identifies the factors that led to the Takata airbag defect.
Take a look at last week's top news stories:
Gun Maker Seeks Dismissal Of Lawsuit Over Newtown Shooting: Lawyers for the company that made the rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School are expected to ask a Connecticut judge to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed by families of some of the massacre victims. Freedom Group, the Madison, North Carolina, parent company of AR-15 maker Bushmaster Firearms, is arguing that it is protected by a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products. Lawyers for the plaintiffs, who include the families of nine children and adults who died and a teacher who survived, say the lawsuit is permitted under an exception to the federal law that allows litigation against companies that know, or should know, that their weapons are likely to be used in a way that risks injury to others.
Takata Airbag Defect Caused By 3 Factors, Automaker Group Finds: A group set up by 10 automakers to investigate the defective airbag inflators made by Japanese parts supplier Takata Corp. said it has identified three factors that lead to the violent ruptures linked to 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries. The independent investigation, led by the aerospace company Orbital ATK Inc., pointed to the use of an unstable chemical without a drying agent, exposure to high absolute humidity and the inflators' assembly that does not adequately prevent moisture intrusion as the key factors leading to the defect. The industry-wide probe covers about 23 million Takata inflators in the U.S. that use ammonium nitrate without a moisture-absorbing desiccant. In total, around 28 million inflators made by the embattled Japanese company are currently under recall in the country.
Sheriff Says Gunman, 3 Others Dead After Kansas Factory Shootings: A gunman armed with an "assault-style" weapon drove through a south-central Kansas town Thursday, taking shots at people, before storming the factory where he worked. Authorities said he killed three people and wounded 14 before being shot dead by an officer. Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said all the dead were shot inside Excel Industries, a plant in Hesston that makes lawn mower products. He said of those hurt, 10 were critically wounded. A law enforcement officer killed the gunman after he began shooting at police, Walton said. Walton said about 150 people were likely in the plant at the time of the shooting, and that the law enforcement officer who killed the suspect "saved multiple, multiple lives."
Gun Manufacturers Caught In Controversial Liability Talks: With an increasing number of mass shootings taking place around the country, people are scrambling to find a solution — some advocating gun control and limiting access, while others suggesting additional gun usage to combat the violence. On either side of the fence, this argument proves challenging to gun manufacturers and sellers who easily become scapegoats after the devastating incidents take place. While some maintain that the gunmaker is not responsible for the actions of the person who purchases the weapon, others say that weapons of that level should not be made available to consumers to begin with.
Canadian Crash Investigation Sparks Toyota SUV Recall: An unusual crash in Canada nearly five years ago ultimately led to a sweeping global recall of Toyota SUVs this month. The Associated Press reports that the accident in May of 2011 piqued the interest of Canadian regulators when two Toyota RAV4 rear-seat passengers were killed as the front-seat occupants survived. Several months later, Transport Canada conducted crash tests and found that the RAV4's metal seat cushion frame could cut the rear seatbelts in the event of a "very severe frontal crash." The agency notified Toyota of the issue and said that the automaker cooperated with the investigation. After an internal probe, the company last week week ordered a recall of 2.9 million vehicles.