The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has taken Japanese auto parts supplier Takata to task for its failure to cooperate with an investigation by the federal agency into the company’s defective airbags.
The administration has announced that it’s imposing fines of approximately $14,000 a day on the Japanese company. The $14,000 fine includes fines of $7,000 per day for violating two separate orders from the federal agency. Takata denies that it has failed to cooperate with the agency’s investigation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now demanding that executives at the company appear in person to answer interrogations at the agency, instead of submitting written replies in writing, as they have been doing thus far. The agency will also conduct inspections at the US headquarters of the Japanese company as well as its testing facility in Michigan. Takata is also being required to provide the parts that are currently under investigation to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for testing.
The defective airbags are linked to at least six fatalities, and several injuries in accidents. However, the Japanese company continues to refuse to announce nationwide recalls of the airbags. The problem lies with a defect that causes the airbags to deploy inadvertently, causing a serious risk of injuries to occupants. The defective airbags are also susceptible to excessive force on deployment, causing injuries, to occupants. Occupants are at risk of having shards of shrapnel shooting into their faces from the deploying airbags.
At least 10 automakers in the United States alone have announced recalls of vehicles that come with the defective airbag.
Airbag manufacturers and other parties may be liable in an injury claim involving defective airbags. If you have suffered injuries because of a malfunctioning airbag, speak to a Burbank personal injury lawyer about filing a claim for compensation.