NHTSA Levies $70m Penalty Against Takata for Defective Airbags

If you’ve been following the news over the last few months, then chances are you’ve heard about the massive recall involving vehicles supplied with airbags from a company called Takata Corp. According to Consumer Reports, the recall included approximately 10 auto manufacturers with more than 34 million airbags estimated to have been recalled at this time. For those who don’t know about the recall though, you may be wondering what the big deal is.

The problem with these particular airbags lies in the propellant used to inflate the device. According to reports, continued exposure to high humidity causes the propellant to react differently during an accident. Instead of safely deploying the airbag, a violent explosion occurs, sending metal shrapnel flying at passengers in the vehicle’s cabin. So far, hundreds of people have suffered injuries because of the defective automotive devices. Eight are said to have suffered fatal injuries.

Though the defective airbags have caused a lot of grief for families across the nation, good news was delivered this month when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it would be assessing a $70 million penalty to Takata for “failing to promptly disclose defects in its airbags,” explains The New York Times. This penalty could rise by an additional $130 million if Takata fails to meet its commitments handed down by the terms of the consent order, though.

When manufacturers fail to abide by our government’s strict safety standards, defects are bound to occur. And when manufacturers fail to remove that danger, consumers are bound to get injured or killed. That’s why many people here in Maryland are likely happy to hear this month’s news, even if it comes too late to save those who were injured and killed because of the defective airbags.