Honda ends Takata partnership over exploding airbags

BY CHARL BOSCH - NOVEMBER 4, 2015

Japanese automaker Honda has announced the severing of ties with long time components manufacturer partner Takata, over faulty airbag inflators.

On Tuesday, the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) slapped Takata with a $70-million (R968-million) fine for failing to fully disclose details about the defects, which has so far resulted in the deaths of eight people and left 100 injured.

Speaking to the New York Times, US Transport Secretary Anthony Foxx said Takata manipulated test results in order to hide the faulty inflators.

“Delay, misdirection and a refusal to acknowledge the truth allowed a serious problem to become a massive crisis. When we first brought this issue to light, there was a lot of denial on the part of Takata,” Foxx was quoted as saying.

Last year, the paper reported that two former Takata employees alleged that bosses salvaged 50 intact airbags for tests, before ordering the results, which found that the metal canisters containing the explosives were prone to cracking, to be destroyed.

A reported 19-million vehicles across 11 manufacturers in the United States were recalled due to faulty airbags, with Honda and its luxury division, Acura, being the hardest hit at just over seven-million vehicles. Other manufactures affected include BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, General Motors, Subaru and Toyota.

Takata Senior Vice-President Hiroshi Shimizu has however denied that the test results were tampered with, telling journalists at a press conference in Tokyo, “There was no problem with our test results. But because there was variation in the data, we did not report everything. We reported only part of the data”.

The company is also expected to pay an additional $130-million (R1.7-billion) if it violates the terms of the lawsuit with some regulators claiming a possible pay out of $200-million (R2.7-billion).

 

IMAGE sourced from japantimes.co.jp