Takata Corporation has had a footprint in the United States since the 1980s, primarily in the automotive arena and usually with respect to seat belts, child restraint systems, and airbags. Yet the company is much older with its roots dating to the 1930s in Japan, the country that still hosts Takata Corporation’s headquarters today. The modern world knows Takata as a global provider of airbags with approximately 20 percent of the international market share as of 2014.
In 2013, the public became aware of potential issues with the Takata airbags in numerous makes and models of American-sold vehicles, leading to massive recalls among auto manufacturers and others associated with the industry. The problems with the airbags may have begun a decade before the recall started which may put countless lives at risk should those airbags malfunction. As of November of 2015, Takata Corporation is responsible for the largest automobile recall in history with an estimated 34 million vehicles affected by faulty airbags.
Takata agreed to fix affected vehicles but now, at least two senators are expressing concern over Takata’s financial ability to do so in the event its U.S. subsidiary goes bankrupt.
Recently, Takata was fined $70 million by U.S. federal regulators for a default related to the repairs of affected airbags. Should Takata fail to keep up the recall schedule in place, its fines could reach $130 million. These fines come at a time when several automobile manufacturers are scaling back or eliminating Takata’s technology from its air bags, leading to a significant decrease in earnings and therefore less revenue to pay such fines.
With the knowledge that Takata’s liabilities have increased significantly with a correlated decrease in revenue, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey drafted a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last Monday. The letter questioned the government agency about the ability of the government to ensure all motorists who own and/or operate a vehicle affected by the recall will be able to have their airbags fixed in the event that Takata’s U.S. subsidiary files for bankruptcy and insisting that the government hold Takata responsible for all needed fixes.
For now, all those with affected vehicles are encouraged to contact their local dealerships to learn about the protocols for having the airbag issues addressed and fixed. Further questions can be addressed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a division of the Department of Transportation and the agency that assessed the recent fines against Takata Corporation.
If you were injured by a faulty airbag while in the Phoenix area or if a car accident caused you harm, know that you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and to discuss your right to recover, including your right to get payment for you pain and suffering.
We offer a free case consultation without obligation and we provide it whenever you need it – whether it is during normal business hours, on the weekend, or even in the middle of the night. We can be reached toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and when you take advantage of our free consultation, everything discussed will be kept confidential.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe in fighting for those who have been hurt and we are ready to fight for you. Call us today and learn about your options for help following your Arizona collision.
Prior Blog Entry:
Construction Zones Pose a Safety Threat to Workers and Drivers, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 27, 2015.
U.S. Must Hold Takata Accountable for Air Bag Recall: Senators, by David Morgan and Richard Chang, Insurance Journal/Reuters, published November 11, 2015.