Takata’s failure to alert federal regulators about its defective inflators and airbags has led to a historic $200 million civil penalty being issued against the manufacturer by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Announced yesterday, this penalty will require Takata to pay a $70 million penalty immediately, with the remaining $130 million becoming due if Takata fails to comply with any of the terms of regulators’ Consent Order.
Specifically, the Consent Order will require Takata to:
- Stop using the chemical propellant associated with the airbag ruptures unless Takata can establish that the propellant is safe and unrelated to the ruptures
- Roll out regulators’ more aggressive schedule for carrying out the recall remedy
- Comply with unprecedented oversight, which will include working with an independent monitor selected by the NHTSA for the next five years.
Revealing more of regulators’ perspective on this penalty, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has noted that:
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 result of that delay and denial has harmed scores of consumers and caused the largest, most complex safety recall in history. Today’s actions represent aggressive use of NHTSA’s authority to clean up these problems and protect public safety.
Background on the Takata Airbag Recall & Issues
Last year, the NHTSA announced a national recall for defective Takata airbags, which had been linked to 7 deaths and hundreds of injuries due to faulty inflators. These inflators can reportedly rupture or explode, hurling shrapnel-like metal fragments at vehicle occupants when airbags deploy.
To date, it is still unknown what precisely triggers these potentially deadly ruptures. And some recent research has suggested that:
- Humidity may be one of the primary contributors.
- Although driver and passenger-side airbags have been affected by the recall, side airbags may also be impacted. Investigators are now looking into this issue.
In accepting the NHTSA’s recent Consent Order that included the massive $200 million penalty, Takata has also reportedly admitted to violating the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVS Act) by only providing regulators and the public with “selective, incomplete or inaccurate data dating back to at least 2009” regarding the risks and dangers associated with its airbags.
What do you think about the NHTSA’s penalty issued to Takata – as well as the slow progress of this recall? Sound off on our Facebook & Google+ pages.
Contact an Experienced Denver Personal Injury Attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C.
If you have been injured by faulty vehicle equipment – or by any defective consumer product, you can turn to a Denver personal injury attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. for experienced help advocating your rights and pursuing justice.
To find out more about how we can help you, call us at (303) 795-5900 or email our firm using the contact form on this page to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you will receive clear, honest legal advice about your case, your rights and your best options for moving forward.
From our offices conveniently located in Denver, Greenwood Village, and Steamboat Springs, our lawyers provide the highest quality legal services to injured people throughout the Denver metro area, Arapahoe County, Routt County and the state of Colorado.