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South Florida Man Files Suit Against Takata, Honda Over Faulty Airbags

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- A South Florida man, who says he was injured by a faulty airbag several years ago, recently filed a lawsuit against Honda and Takata.

While driving out to the Everglades in December of 2011, Jerry Adler crashed his 2005 Honda Accord.

"We skidded off the road and we hit the cypress tree," said Adler.

He said the airbag deployed with such force that it caused several injuries and bruises.

"My left hand was swollen and my pinky was almost cut off," said Adler.

Adler racked up tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills following surgery and several months of physical therapy.

The disabled father of two recently filed a lawsuit against Takata and Honda after realizing his vehicle, which was equipped with a Takata airbag, was recalled two and a half years after his crash.

"I never received the notice," said Adler.

Prior to filing the lawsuit, Adler and his attorney Jason Turchin filed a claim with Honda and Takata.

They were surprised – in spite of the vehicle being on a recall list – to receive a letter telling them their claim was being rejected because Adler no longer had the vehicle in his possession, even though the car was totaled more than 3 years ago.

"The car was totaled and it was towed away while I went to the hospital," said Adler.

The letter read in part:

"The failure to preserve the vehicle in question, or any of the airbag components, greatly prejudices American Honda Motor Co., Inc. in its ability to defend or refute the defect allegations raised by your client."

"The new trend seems to be that Honda and Takata are making it a lot harder for victims to be compensated for any injuries or death that are caused by their airbags," said Turchin.

Despite the bump on the road of not having the vehicle, the lawsuit is moving forward.

"Honda and the airbag company Takata should make good on their errors," said Adler.

Turchin recommends if you're involved in an accident and believe the airbag was defective that you keep the vehicle and store it in a safe location.

CBS4 did reach out to Honda and Takata for comment.

Honda declined to comment and Takata never responded.

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