Major automotive safety manufacturer Takata Corp. is currently facing daily fines of $14,000 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing to cooperate in an ongoing investigation of the company’s defective airbags. As of January 2015, a total of six people have been killed and 100 injured as a result of the malfunctioning airbags.
According to former Takata Corp. employees, as early as 2004, the Japanese auto parts supplier was aware that its airbags were prone to deploy with excessive force, causing the part to rupture and send shrapnel flying – not unlike a grenade – yet remained silent. The potentially deadly airbags were installed in millions of vehicles from over 10 major automakers, including GM, BMW, Toyota, and Honda, between 2002 and 2008.
In recent years, roughly 17 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide by automakers in order to repair the defect; however, U.S. regulators have found that 90 percent of the recalled vehicles have yet to be repaired.
In response to two special orders from the NHTSA in 2014, Takata reportedly did not address specific questions about the airbag defect, but instead, sent more than 2.4 million pages of documents without explanation or guidance. Takata Corp. is now looking at a potential maximum fine of $70,000,000 if it continues to obfuscate information about the root cause of the airbag defects.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a defective auto part, the dedicated product liability lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC can help you get the justice you deserve. You may be eligible to receive significant financial compensation for the harm you have suffered as a result of a negligent manufacturer. To learn more about how we can handle your claim, please give us a call at 1-844-MDCRASH.