The U.S. government will fine Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. $14,000 per day for failing to fully cooperate in a long-running probe of defective airbags.
Five deaths, including one in Jan. 2015, have been linked to the defects and more than 18 million vehicles with the faulty airbags have been recalled in U.S.
Takata maintains it has been cooperating with safety agency officials and says it was “surprised and disappointed” by NHTSA’s announcement. However, while the Tokyo-based manufacturer has provided the agency with almost 2.5 million documents to date, safety officials say it has not helped regulators fully understand them.
Tense Showdown over Huge Recall
The fines are another escalation in the public fight between NHTSA and Takata, which also refused the agency’s demand to issue a nationwide recall of driver’s side airbags last year. However, automakers recalled the cars on their own.
The auto industry recalled a record number of vehicles last year and the safety agency has been under increasing pressure to impose bigger penalties.
In January, the agency imposed a record $70 million penalty on Honda for grossly under-reporting fatal auto accidents and injuries to the government. That penalty doubled the $35 million fine levied on General Motors last year after the automaker failed to report a defective ignition switch for more than a decade.
Fines from NHTSA are capped at $35 million per infraction. Since Takata is alleged to have violated two orders, it could be fined a maximum of $70 million.
Contact Our Defective Product Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective Takata airbag, consult a personal injury attorney at Anderson Cummings today, to see if you are eligible for compensation.
You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Call (817) 920-9000 to schedule your free consultation today.