How Much is Your Safety Worth? For Takata, Too Much
Archived emails from Japanese auto parts-maker Takata Corp’s top executives have surfaced, indicating that the company halted safety audits of its airbag problems as early as 2009 due to costs, four years before the first recall. Takata’s defective airbag inflators, which are responsible for as many as 34 million vehicles being recalled, are prone to exploding and spewing metal shrapnel into the vehicle, and have been responsible for at least eight deaths and hundreds of injuries. The uncovered emails are just a few of the 13,000 documents obtained in preparation for a June 2015 hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee concerning Takata’s negligence and NHTSA’s response. “The more evidence we see, the more it paints a troubling picture of a manufacturer that lacked concern,” committee member U.S. Senator Bill Nelson said of Takata’s propensity to put costs before driver safety.