Already facing billions of dollars in potential losses – including as a result of lawsuits filed by victims of its defective airbags – Bloomberg is now reporting that Takata has agreed to pay a $70 million dollar fine to the U.S. government. If you are not up to speed with what is going on, almost a year ago to the day of Bloomberg’s report, the New York Times published a scathing investigation accusing Takata of a massive cover-up involving the sale of faulty airbags. Since then, Takata has admitted to the accusations, and its defective airbags have been linked to 8 deaths and more than 100 injuries.
Honda Drops Takata as a Supplier
Adding to Takata’s financial troubles, Honda – Takata’s biggest customer and one of the vehicle manufacturers hardest hit by the scandal – has reportedly dropped the airbag maker as a supplier. In doing so, Honda accused Takata of “misrepresent[ing] and manipulate[ing]” safety data about its airbags. Honda’s decision is likely due in no small part to the fact that all eight deaths involving Takata airbags have occurred in Honda vehicles.
2015 Model Year Vehicles May Be Recalled
As we previously reported, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently sent a letter to seven new manufacturers seeking information on whether any of their vehicles contain Takata’s faulty airbags. With 12 automakers already involved in the recall, this could bring the total to 19 and could add millions of vehicles on top of the record-breaking 34 million that have already been recalled.
As of October 30, the recall included one model year 2014 vehicle (the Ford Mustang), otherwise, the latest model year affected by the recall was 2011. However, the NHTSA’s new inquiry has the potential to add 2015 vehicles to the list. In fact, prior to sending its letter, the NHTSA had already begun investigating Volkswagen as a result of a crash involving a 2015 Tiguan. As a result of its ongoing investigations, the NHTSA is encouraging vehicle owners to check its website regularly for updates on the Takata recall.
Recall Repairs Won’t be Completed Until 2019
Along with these developments, Consumer Reports is now reporting that the repairs necessary to replace all of Takata’s faulty airbags won’t be completed until 2019. Sources had previously reported that the process could take up to two years. This presents a serious challenge for affected owners who face the uncertainty of trying to decide what to do with their vehicles until they receive the call that their replacement airbags are ready.
Have You Been Affected by a Faulty Takata Airbag? Contact Morrow & Sheppard LLP
At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we are vigorously pursuing claims against Takata, Ford Motor Company, and others. If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident involving a faulty airbag, we want to help you fight for just compensation. To speak with a Houston car accident lawyer about your claim, contact us online or call our Houston law offices at (800) 489-2216 today.