If you're one of our regular readers, then you've probably seen one of our many posts regarding defective airbags, particularly those manufactured by the Japanese company called Takata. Months ago, for those who don't know, the company fell under scrutiny when it was discovered that its airbags were not only defective, they were highly dangerous as well.
As we explained back in a June post, and prior to that in May, Takata's airbags have been responsible for hundreds of injuries due to the fact that the devices explode violently, sending metal shrapnel at passengers. Since these posts, the fatalities of at least eight people have been linked to the defective airbags and several lawsuits have already been filed.
Because we haven't touched on the Takata airbag issue in sometime, we wanted to give today's readers an update. As you may have heard, actions have been taken to make sure that further people are not injured by these dangerous airbags. Not only has Takata voluntarily recalled more than 20 million air bag inflators so far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined the company this month $70 million for its negligence.
The NHTSA has also ordered the company to "stop making the air bag inflators at the heart of the problem unless the company can prove they are safe," explained a recent NBC article. Under the five-year agreement between the U.S. agency and the Japanese company, Takata will be watched carefully to ensure future compliance with safety standards. If Takata fails to meet its obligations under the agreement, the NHTSA says it will assess an additional $130 million fine.
Though some say the current fine is merely a slap on the wrist, others believe it may be what gets Takata – and perhaps other companies in the same industry – to carefully consider the release of products and to take better action when safety issues arise.