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Takata Fined $70 Million After 8 Deaths, 100 Injuries

Olivia Finger12 months ago

After 8 deaths and more than 100 injuries across the world, Takata Corp. of Japan is being fined $70 million by the U.S. Auto Safety Regulators for issues during the recall of explosion-prone air bags.

About the Takata Airbag Defect

According to NBC News, drivers and passengers are at risk of shrapnel hitting them in the event of a crash, due to the defective airbags. Injured people have suffered severe neck and face lacerations, and some have even lost their eyesight and hearing due to the explosions.

Takata failed to recall the airbags in a timely manner, after admitting they knew the inflators were defective. When the investigation began, Takata resisted saying the NHTSA did not have the authority to demand a recall, however, they later agreed to the demands of the agency.

Until the airbags have been proven safe, Takata has been issued and order by regulators to cease production, several news stations reported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could potentially increase the fine to $130 million if the company does not follow the terms under their five-year contract.

Approximately 23.4 million driver and passenger inflators have been recalled on 19.2 million vehicles in the United States.

Cause of Defect Yet to be Pinpointed

Ammonium nitrate explosions inflate the air bags, and if there is excessive exposure to moisture in the air, the propellant can burn too fast exploding the metal canister designed to contain the explosion. However, the exact cause of the rupturing inflators is still unknown.

During a press conference, Anthony Foxx, the head of the Department of Transportation announced, “Unless new evidence emerges, the company will have to recall all of its inflators.” Regulators plan to monitor which inflators are being recalled to ensure that replacements are first sent to regions with the highest chance of issues.

Takata now faces hundreds of lawsuits and a criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. The NHTSA continues to investigate the side air bag inflators.

Additional recalls could be announced in the near future. Letters have been issued to seven more automakers warning them of the Takata inflators.


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