Takata Faces Potential Inquiry by United States Justice Department regarding Airbags
The New York Times reports that three senators are requesting a “criminal investigation of the airbag manufacturer, Takata, after two former employees reported that the company tested the airbags over a decade ago and found no signs of defects, yet erased computer files containing data and threw away tested airbags.” Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said in an interview that “[t]he Justice Department needs to get involved here and begin a criminal investigation.
Over 14 million vehicles from 11 automakers worldwide have been recalled due to defective Takata-made airbags since 2008. As of now, these airbags have been linked to four deaths and at least 30 injuries, according to The New York Times. The defect involves the fact that the airbags can rupture when they deploy during an accident, thus sending metal fragments into the vehicle and potentially injuring the driver and passengers of the vehicle.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received statements from several auto manufacturers that they are issuing recalls to address the safety defect. The manufacturers involved in the recall include BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, and Mitsubishi. And according to a recent report by The New York Times, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ordered that Takata turn over pertinent records. In particular, the administration has demanded that “Takata turn over records regarding the production, testing and subsequent concerns raised internally and by automakers over the airbags, as well as communications between the company and automakers about defect concerns.”
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