Takata Ends Up In Record-Breaking Recall Crisis For Its Killer Airbags

Safety Technology

No joke, this is some serious sh*t right here.

Earlier this year, Takata's deadly airbags forced the recall of some 34 million cars. It seems that the NHTSA isn't done with the Japanese airbag company as it just imposed the largest civil penalty in its history. That's because the Japanese company has violated the Motor Vehicle Safety Act with its faulty airbags. Also, for the first time in NHTSA history, Takata was told to accelerate recall repairs to millions of vehicles with affected airbags. A total of around 42 million cars and 12 automakers are involved in the massive recall.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, "For years, Takata has built and sold defective products, refused to acknowledge the defect, and failed to provide full information to NHTSA, its customers, or the public." The Consent Order issued to Takata carries a total penalty of $200 million. Of that $70 million will be paid in cash but the remaining is due only if Takata fails to meet its commitments or if more safety violations are discovered. The Consent Order also says the company is to stop production and sale of inflators that use phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant, the possible factor that caused explosive ruptures which led to seven deaths and nearly 100 injuries in the United States.

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Takata admits it was aware of the faulty airbags but failed to issue a timely recall. The company also admitted to trying to dupe the NHTSA with inaccurate, selective or incomplete data about its airbags since 2009. Because of its blatant lies the NHTSA is imposing "unprecedented oversight" on Takata for the next five years, with an independent monitor assessing and reporting on the company’s actions. Takata and the 12 affected manufacturers have been directed to prioritize the fixes based on risk, and the supply of the remedy parts will also be monitored. Automakers have been told to have replacement parts by next March and provide final remedies to all vehicles by the end of 2019.