The Takata Corporation will be expected to pay out up to $1 billion in financial penalties after they plead guilty to criminal misconduct for their involvement in the faulty airbag scandal that lead to the largest U.S. auto recall in history.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled around 42 million vehicles in just the U.S. after it was brought to light that Takata’s airbag systems were fatally flawed. The airbag systems had the potential to deteriorate over time causing certain conditions to set off an explosion of hot metal shrapnel upon inflation, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The faulty airbags caused 11 deaths and over 100 injuries worldwide.
According to ABC News, officials believe that the fault in the airbag presents itself when the system is exposed to too much humidity or moisture; Takata has not released an official cause for the airbag malfunction.
Takata has manufactured remedy airbags for consumers with vehicles with VINs on the recall list.
Over 11 automakers are affected by the faulty airbags and have, or will be, releasing recall lists. The system was predominantly installed in cars from model years 2002-2015.
Takata, after finally accepting responsibility for their detrimentally defected airbags, will be expected to plead guilty and pay out a large penalty fee that could amount up to $1 billion dollars.
ABC News reports that Takata Co. avoided taking responsibility for the faulty airbags until now, after being pursued by the Department of Transportation and the NHTSA since November.
Shigehisa Takada, chairman and CEO of Takata Corporation, made the following statement after meeting with the NHTSA and taking responsibility for the airbag scandal: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with NHTSA, which presents a clear path forward to advancing safety and restoring the trust of automakers and the driving public.”
The NHTSA will be working with Takata to test the new replacement airbags to insure their safety.