Takata Ordered to Pay $14,000 Per Day
The U.S. Department of Transportation has fined Japanese auto parts supplier Takata Corp., $14,000 per day for failure to cooperate in the exploding airbags investigation.
Takata, one of the world’s largest airbag suppliers, is alleged to have manufactured and distributed millions upon millions of defective airbags.
In 2014, more than 17 million vehicles were recalled after it was discovered that the defective airbags in vehicles had a tendency to rupture when they deployed.
The airbags would explode and send metal shards in to the faces, necks and chests of unsuspecting drivers. At least six deaths have been confirmed and attributed to the dangerous defect. In spite of calls by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recall all of the affected vehicles,Takata has refused.
The company has continued to insist that the defect is only dangerous in hot and humid regions of the country and as such, only limited geographic recalls are necessary. At least five auto companies have voluntarily issued nationwide recalls. However, millions of un-recalled vehicles are still on the road. Of the 17 million vehicles that were recalled, only two million have had their parts replaced.
Many auto companies have banded together to hire an independent aerospace engineering company to test Takata’s airbag inflators. The companies have cited Takata’s lack of willingness to share data and lack of trust in Takata’s statements in funding their independent safety investigation.
Additionally, in November the NHTSA issued two legal orders to Takata. The first order required the company to widen the limited recall to encompass all of the United States. And the second recall, required Takata to supply the NHTSA with all of the records related to the manufacturing of the airbags.
The company has failed to comply with both orders. The maximum penalty per day for violating such an order is $7,000. Since Takata has failed to comply with two orders, the company is being fined $14,000 per day until they meet the NHTSA’s demands.
The company has been accused of intentionally stonewalling safety regulators. As long as Takata continues to leave dangerous vehicles on the road, the death toll is likely to rise. This is especially concerning, as we turn the corner into spring and summer when the weather will become especially hot and humid.
Takata injury lawyers at Peterson & Associates, P.C., have been following the developments in the Takata airbag injury saga quite closely. If you or a family member has been injured in an accident where the airbage caused additional injuries, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Contact our firm for a free consultation. Our attorneys can help you pursue the justice you deserve.