For more than a year, we have read bits and pieces of news about the exploding Takata airbags. We applauded the fines, begged Honda to take action, and deplored the state of the auto industry that it would continually put its profits at the top of its priority list. It didn’t seem like it could get any worse for Takata – and then the New York Times dropped a bombshell on February 12, 2016: “Takata Discarded Evidence of Airbag Ruptures as Early as 2000.”
The Times article reports that:
“[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][T]estimony in a Florida court showed that Takata’s own engineers discarded evidence that may have shown otherwise as long as 16 years ago. As early as 2000, around the time the propellant, which includes a compound called ammonium nitrate, was introduced into Takata models, failures occurred during internal testing.
But Takata altered its test data to hide the failures from its biggest customer, Honda, and a senior Takata executive ordered some of the evidence be discarded, the testimony said.”
They knew. They knew. Takata knew it was manufacturing a product with the potential to fail, and changed the data to hide the evidence. This is worse than ignorance, worse than negligence; it is a criminal act. It is fraud. They are incredibly lucky that no one has charged them with manslaughter (as Forbes.com suggested might be possible for GM back in June of 2014). Those airbags have injured hundreds of people, and are directly linked to 10 deaths. They sold 54 million of those faulty inflators in the US alone.
Honda may not be as responsible as they first seemed
Because Takata manipulated its data regarding the airbag failures before it presented that data to Honda, Honda may not be accountable for as much of the blame as people originally thought. This does not mean they are innocent: remember, once the airbags started exploding, Honda was slow to recall the vehicles or to admit there was a problem. All this new information tells us is that Takata is an even greedier, more reprehensible company than we originally thought.
It is time to take drastic steps in this country to ensure the safety and protection of our citizens. Companies who commit crimes like these should be banned from doing business in the US, where they hurt our citizens intentionally and knowingly and then get away with it. Takata is not alone in this: if it were up to us, VW would be banned, too, for their actions last year with the emissions tests. Americans don’t take lightly to lying – just ask AOL Time Warner, anyone working for Big Tobacco or the manufacturers of defective breast implants. From now on, maybe we should stop trying to boycott their products and simply refuse to allow them to sell anything in the US.
Crandall & Pera Law is a premier personal injury and medical malpractice law firms serving Ohio and Kentucky. If you were hurt because of a dangerous product, or have sustained an injury or loss because of a defective airbag, please contact us to find out more about your rights.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]