Tags: Takata | Senators | air bag | defects

US Senators Call for Air-Bag Data From Takata

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 08:07 AM

Two senior US senators called on embattled Japanese auto parts maker Takata on Monday to furnish them with 14 years of extensive records and data on the company's faulty air bags.

Senators Jay Rockefeller and Bill Nelson said in a letter to the company that Hiroshi Shimizu, a top Takata official, gave insufficient answers on the air bags to a Senate Commerce Committee hearing last week.

"Unfortunately, Mr. Shimizu was unable to satisfactorily answer many of the questions posed to him," they said in the letter to company chief executive Shigehisa Takada.

"As a result, we still have many significant questions about the circumstances surrounding Takata's manufacturing of defective air bags and their widespread distribution and installation in vehicles sold and driven in the United States," they said.

They asked for detailed company records and communications on the faulty air bags, which have been found prone to releasing with explosive force and blowing shrapnel into the occupants of a car.

Several deaths and numerous injuries, including blindness, have been tied to the problem, and the company is already facing lawsuits and a federal criminal probe.

Two separate problems with the air bags have been blamed for the injuries: the improper welding and sealing of the air-bag inflators, and the chemical propellant used in the air bag, which critics say is dangerously volatile.

The documents requested include communications that would ostensibly show that Takata knew of the air-bag problems much earlier than the recent recalls of some 16 million vehicles worldwide.

One March 2011 email the senators specifically mentioned is titled, in English, "A part that is not welded = one life less," and in Spanish, "Defectos y Defectos y Defectos" (Defects and Defects and Defects).

The senators asked for Takata's records of incidents and lawsuits involving its air bags going back to 2000, including those of outside consultants, police, and hospitals.

They asked the company to submit all the records by December 12.

Separately, Honda said that an audit showed that it had under-reported problems regarding its vehicles to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The audit found 1,729 instances of under-reporting, the company said, blaming in part erroneous data entry.

© AFP 2017

   
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Two senior US senators called on embattled Japanese auto parts maker Takata on Monday to furnish them with 14 years of extensive records and data on the company's faulty air bags.
Takata, Senators, air bag, defects
362
2014-07-25
Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 08:07 AM
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