The United States is fining Takata Corporation, a Tokyo, Japan based company that manufactures airbags, $14,000 each day due to non-compliance in the investigation into their faulty airbags. Late last year, the National Highway Traffic-Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated a product recall on vehicles using Takata airbags. The company is responsible for covering product liability to consumers affected by the recall.
With over 7.8 million vehicles affected by the recall, Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox said Takata will be fined each day they do not comply with the investigation and withhold documentation and other materials necessary for the investigation.
Takata gave NHTSA 2.4 million pages of documentation but did not give any guidance or explanation as to what information is in the documents. Employees have to sift through the pages, wasting time, money, and resources that could be spent on other claims and the investigation, to find information they need for the investigation. It is also delaying being able to accurately fix and recall all affected vehicles.
NHTSA started investigating how far the Takata airbag recall reached within the United States in 2014 and if Takata knew about the defective airbags before they issued a consumer advisory about the recall. In recent hearings, it was found that Honda and Takata both knew about the defective airbags before the recall was announced.
With many of the resources being tied up waiting for Takata to explain the documents they gave NHTSA, comply with the investigation, and give NHTSA the correct documentation asked for, consumers are the ones being hurt. Many consumers who own one of the affected vehicles cannot have their airbags replaced because they do not have the product replacement available for everyone. This means there are millions of vehicles being driven that have defective airbags that can seriously injure or kill drivers and passengers if they are in an accident, including small fender-benders.
Takata should be held liable for the deaths, injuries, and inconvenience they are causing consumers of the affected vehicles. Even with a daily fine of $14,000, they are not cooperating with NHTSA to complete the investigation and causing more labor hours and resources to be consumed, at the expense of taxpayers, trying to get the correct information to ensure consumers will be able to be compensated and have their vehicles repaired.
Manufacturers of car parts and car companies should be held accountable for defective parts that adversely impact consumers. If you have been affected by the Takata airbag recall, contact a Chicago defective car parts attorney today. Call the law office of [[title]], at [[phone]] for a free consultation.