Takata Airbag Recall News: NHTSA Issues Takata a $200 Million Fine, Largest Fine in NHTSA History


Takata has just been hit with a massive civil penalty from transportation regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As the NHTSA announced earlier today, Takata has been ordered to pay a record-breaking $200 million dollars – the single highest fine the NHTSA has ever issued in its more than 40 years of existence – for violating the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVS Act).

Takata has been hit with the highest NHTSA civil penalty in U.S. history for violating the Motor Vehicle Safety Act with its faulty airbags, a St Louis personal injury attorney reveals.

Takata has been hit with the highest NHTSA civil penalty in U.S. history for violating the Motor Vehicle Safety Act with its faulty airbags, a St Louis personal injury attorney reveals.

As part of the Consent Order related to this fine, Takata has also admitted to:

  • Failing to notify NHTSA regulators about problems with its airbags within the 5-day period required by the MVS Act
  • Being aware of the defects associated with its airbags but failing to issue a timely recall for them
  • Providing regulators and customers with “selective, incomplete, or inaccurate data dating back to at least 2009.”

Speaking to the importance of the NHTSA’s enforcement action against Takata, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has remarked that:

For years, Takata has built and sold defective products, refused to acknowledge the defect, and failed to provide full information to NHTSA, its customers, or the public… The result of that delay and denial has harmed scores of consumers and caused the largest, most complex safety recall in history. Today’s actions represent aggressive use of NHTSA’s authority to clean up these problems and protect public safety.

Brief Background on the Faulty Takata Airbags, Ongoing Recall Efforts

About one year ago, a national recall was issued in the U.S. for defective Takata airbags. This recall reportedly impacts more than 19 million vehicles made by 12 different automakers, and it specifically pertains to faulty inflators within the airbags that can rupture.

These inflators, which contain phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate, can explode and end up shooting small fragments of metal out at the occupants of passenger vehicles. At this time, researchers and regulators are still searching for answers regarding what precisely is causing the inflators and airbags to rupture. Currently, however, it’s only known that humidity can increase the risk of ruptures.

Here are some additional important facts about these defective Takata airbags and the associated recall:

  • To date, faulty Takata airbags have caused 7 fatal injuries and at least 100 non-fatal injuries (to people in the U.S.).
  • While the impacted airbags may be on the driver’s or front passenger’s side, investigators are also looking into whether side airbags may contain these potentially defective airbags.

What Happens Next…

At this point, here are just some of the steps Takata will have to take to avoid incurring additional penalties:

  • Immediately pay $70 million (of the $200 million fine) in cash to federal authorities – The remaining $130 million may become due if Takata fails to comply with the NHTSA’s orders.
  • Comply with “unprecedented oversight” for the next five years – This includes working with an independent monitor selected by the NHTSA to ensure and report on compliance.
  • Phase out their use of inflators containing phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate – The only way Takata may continue to use this compound in its inflators is if the company can prove to regulators that the compound is safe and is no way contributing to airbag ruptures.

Contact a St Charles & St Louis Personal Injury Attorney at Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

If you have been harmed by faulty vehicle equipment – or any defective consumer product, an experienced St Charles & St Louis personal injury attorney at Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is here for you, ready to provide you with experienced help with your financial recovery.

Find out more about your legal rights and what we can do to help you by contacting us today to schedule a free, no obligations initial consultation with one of our lawyers. To set up this consult, call our firm at (636) 946-6886 or toll free at (855)772-5291. You can also email us using the contact form on this page.

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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