Honda Motor Company made the decision on Tuesday, November 3, to end its longtime business partnership with Takata, a Japan-based manufacturer, after airbag defects led to the recall of more than 30 million vehicles. Honda cited “misrepresentation and manipulation of test data” as the primary reason behind their decision to drop Takata as their airbag supplier.
Takata is now facing a fine of $70 million for failing to disclose a dangerous airbag defect in a timely manner. If the company does not comply with the terms of a consent order, this penalty could be increased to a staggering $130 million.
The issue at hand lay in the airbag’s inflator, a metal casing loaded with propellants that allow the airbags to quickly inflate in the event of a collision. The propellants within these casings had the potential to ignite with explosive force, sending sharp metal shards throughout the cabin. In total, over 100 injuries and eight deaths have been linked to Takata’s defective airbags.
In many scenarios, Takata was found to have selectively omitted or provided inaccurate data in testing reports. Upon learning of the defect, Takata refused to acknowledge the issue and allowed a serious yet manageable problem to transform into a crisis that has severely damaged the company’s reputation. At a recent press conference, Takata’s senior vice president for global quality assurance continued to deny any data manipulation or any other wrongdoing on the part of its engineers.
Takata will continue to supply Honda with other safety items, including seatbelts.
Read more about automotive product recalls here.
Car Accident Lawyers in Austin, TX
A driver should never have to doubt whether their airbags will perform correctly in a life-or-death situation. Airbags are supposed to be life-saving devices, and any delay in addressing a known safety hazard should be severely punished. Takata’s negligence is not being tolerated in the eyes of the law.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a defect in a car safety feature, such as a defective airbag or seatbelt, we urge you to contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC as soon as possible. An Austin car accident attorney at our firm is prepared to investigate your case and determine how much compensation you may be entitled to.
To request a consultation with a member of our team, please call us today at (512) 271-5112. We are standing by day and night to take your call.