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Wednesday, 18 April 2018 18:14

Consumer Advocate Honors Daughter, a Takata Airbag Fatality Victim

On March 20, a room filled with lawmakers took to task safety officials, automotive manufacturers and industry representatives on the slow progress, delays and obstacles in the largest auto part recall in U.S. history. 

One man's presence could not be ignored. As Florida Senator Bill Nelson, a ranking member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation committee, said, Alexander Brangman "is a stark reminder of the human cost of defective airbags."


Brangman is father to Takata fatality victim Jewel Brangman, and is now a safety advocate. On Sept. 7, 2014, at 8:30 p.m., Brangman, a single father of two, received the heartbreaking news that his daughter, Jewel, had been in a car accident, from which she would later succumb to her injuries caused by a defective Takata airbag. Full of promise and just 26 years old with an advanced Master's degree, she was a model, gymnast, gymnastics teacher and Reiki Master.


In the wake of his daughter's passing, Brangman has emerged as a fiery and articulate advocate in consumer affairs. He defeated Takata, setting a milestone precedent in international business legislation. His powerful story has been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, ABC Australia and News Talk ZB in New Zealand. He's spoken in Washington, D.C. and met with the FTC about the Takata case.


In a statement Brangman submitted to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportations' Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security for its hearing on efforts to repair defective Takata airbag inflators, he said the following: "I represent the worst-case scenario of incompetence, poor ethics and greed. My daughter came into this world with a birth certificate and she left with a death certificate due to the extreme negligence and unethical conduct of systemic corporate behavior that puts profits over lives."


To date, tens of millions of affected Takata airbags are still on the road after years of red tape and inaction. During the hearing, Honda North America Executive VP Rick Schostek noted Brangman's presence by saying, "I want to acknowledge and apologize to Mr. Brangman and others who have suffered from these tragic circumstances."


Although Brangman was not offered airtime during the hearings, his poignant and potent statement to the committee was entered into the hearing record. He urged the committee and participants to enact stricter standards for recall completion rates as well as various other serious issues related to the recall.  


In his remarks, Brangman also stated: "The unnecessary practice of putting profits over lives must stop. A call of action, nationally, needs to be taken, laws need to be enacted and a competent system needs to be put in place."

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