Takata Blames U.S. Division for Faulty Airbags in Internal Report

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a series of reports involving Takata’s defective air bag inflators, around 100 million of which have been declared defective worldwide, with nearly 70 million inflators in the U.S. alone. In the report, Takata also holds its U.S. arm, not the parent company, responsible for designing, testing and producing defective air bag inflators.

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URL: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-takata-idUSKCN11T291

The Largest Automobile Recall Ever Now Affects 34 Million Vehicles

By Sophie Williams –

Tuesday Takata decided to expand the recall of vehicles with its air bags to nearly 34 million cars and trucks, nearly double the number of vehicles previously recalled.

The company agreed to a national recall of certain types of driver and passenger side air bag inflators used in vehicles manufactured by BMW, Chrysler, Daimler AG trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Subaru and Toyota. Six deaths and more than 100 injuries have been linked to the defective air bags.

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed by a Takata airbag, please contact the Nations Law Firm for a free case evaluation by one of our experienced attorneys.

For information regarding the organization of the recall: http://www.safercar.gov/rs/takata/index.html

Honda Forced to Pay Record $70 Million for Underreporting Injuries

By Sophie Williams

Recently a record $70 million fine was levied on Honda Motor by safety regulators in the United States-the largest ever imposed on an automaker by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Honda has acknowledged what is the basis for the fine — that it clearly underreported critical accidents involving its cars to the United States government for more than a decade.  Last fall, Honda disclosed that it had failed to account nearly two-thirds of the 2,600 notices of injuries or deaths in the United States that it obtained from 2003 through 2014.

The fine was twice the size of a penalty imposed by the highway safety agency against General Motors last year over its delayed response to ignition switch defects linked to at least 13 deaths.

Automakers are required to report such information under a 14-year-old U.S. law, and Honda’s breaches may have hindered the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s ability to swiftly recognize vehicle flaws.

Takata Corporation President Steps Down Amid Crisis

By Sophie Williams

Takata Corporation president Stefan Stocker, will step down and Shigehisa Takad, the company’s chairman, will become president in order to unify Takata’s response to the recalls of its air bags. Officials with Takata say the executive shift is intended to speed up decision-making related to the massive safety issue. However, a spokesperson says Stocker’s decision to step down isn’t a move to take responsibility for the massive recall.

The company has been heavily criticized by regulators in the United States for its slow response to the problems, which first came to light six years ago. Takata’s regulatory filings and patents reflect concerns about the stability of ammonium nitrate, the chemical used as propellant to inflate its airbags.  The company and its customers are investigating flawed manufacturing practices, the chemical’s exposure to moisture and degradation among other potential root causes that may explain why the devices can deploy with too much force, with metal and plastic pieces breaking apart and being shot at passengers.

Automakers led by Honda Motor Company, its biggest customer, have issued recalls for more than 20 million vehicles globally, even as Takata resisted the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s demand to expand the safety campaign nationally beyond high-humidity areas.

The prolonged safety crisis has prompted its third biggest client, General Motors Co, to develop contingency plans to shift business to other air bag makers in case recalls widen.