As Takata Corp. feverishly works to replace millions of defective airbag parts responsible for 5 deaths, dozens of other injuries, and the recall of 20 million vehicles around the world, stringent quality control measures have been placed on a group of its parts suppliers. Takata has been the source of a high-profile investigation by U.S. safety regulators after a series of “urgent” inspections were announced at several closed-door meetings across its supply network. Suppliers noted that the nature of the inspections were unusual, given the sense of urgency and speed to which they were announced. “This time it was different. This inspection had not been planned before and was announced out of the blue during the meeting,” said an anonymous involved party. Takata spokesman Toyohiro Hishikawa declined to comment on the interactions with its suppliers or the reasons for its quality audits. These out-of-the-ordinary inspections may be tied to the yet-unidentified source of the defective airbag crisis, which has been eluding the airbag maker throughout the recall process.
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