Takada Reportedly Admits Fault Over Defective Airbags
May 22nd, 2015 | By: Walker Advertising | Posted in: From the CEO
In a long overdue move, Japanese manufacturer Takada has reportedly admitted fault over its defective airbags, which can deploy violently and send shards of shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment. This comes after increasing pressure from US regulators, and after automakers worldwide recalled millions of cars equipped with Takada airbags. In February, the US regulators announced they would fine the manufacturer $14,000 per day until it began cooperating with their investigation. In the wake of Takada’s agreement to double the number of vehicles recalled in the US to almost 34 million—the largest recall in US history—regulators have agreed to suspend the now more than $1 million fine. It is unclear whether this money will ever be collected.
The defective airbags have reportedly been linked to six deaths and 105 injuries. Takada’s admission could expose the company to greater potential liability in lawsuits, and it may also have to pay a larger share of the recall costs.
Evidence that there might be problems with the airbags has been piling up for at least fifteen years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received consumer complaints about ruptured airbags as early as 2000. Former Takada engineers told The New York Times that they had raised concerns about the explosive component used in the airbags a decade ago, but the company did not act on these concerns.
Once again, companies could be placing profits over consumer safety, and government agencies could have been slow to act in the face of mounting evidence of harm caused by defective products.
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