The U.S. government has announced that they will be fining Japan-based airbag manufacturer Takata Corp. $14,000 a day for refusing to cooperate with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations probe of the company’s faulty airbags.
Takata is being fined for violating two orders from the NHTSA, each maximum fine is $7,000. As 2014 brought forward dozens of recall announcements and instances of companies turning a blind eye to manufacturing defects, the NHTSA is asking Congress to boost the maximum daily fine to $25,000 in future cases.
In addition to the fines, the NHTSA is demanding that Takata executives appear in person to answer questions rather than submit written replies. They also would like to conduct short notice inspections at Takatas U.S. headquarters and testing facility.
The NHTSA also wants to issue a preservation order that would require Takata to make the parts that are under investigation available for testing to the NHTSA, automakers and those suing Takata. Furthermore, the NHTSA has asked the Justice Department to sue Takata in federal court if the company fails to meet the NHTSA’s demands.
This department is focused on protecting the American public from these defective air bags and at getting to the bottom of how they came to be included in millions of vehicles on U.S. roads, Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary said in a press release.
Since 2008, about 17 million vehicles with Takata airbags that can rupture and cause injuries have been recalled. Five deaths, including one in Jan. 2015, have been attributed to the ruptured airbags.
On Feb. 20, Honda asked its CEO, Takanobu Ito, will be stepping down from his position in June. Honda has been at the center of Takatas airbag saga as it has been alleged that the company knew about the airbag problem a decade ago. The U.S. fined Honda $70 million for poor recordkeeping of accidents and defects this past year.
The Takata airbag recall lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy believe that the manufacturer of this defective product needs to be held accountable for their actions. If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective airbag, we can help you get the justice you deserve.