Japanese air bag manufacturer Takata filed for bankruptcy protection late Sunday. The company has faced massive costs associated with defective air bags, which can explode upon deployment, hurling fiery shrapnel into drivers and passengers. The defect, which triggered the largest recall in U.S. history, been linked to at least 16 deaths and more than 180 injuries. Here is a timeline of the company’s troubles.
Late 1990s: Takata begins making air bag inflators with ammonium nitrate propellant.
Around 2000: Company notes internally that air bag inflators are not functioning properly and some have erupted in tests.
February 2004: Unidentified Takata executive admits to “manipulating” test data on air bag inflators, according to the company’s criminal settlement with the U.S. Justice Department.
2006: Takata goes public in Japan.
May 2004 – A driver’s side air bag ruptures in a 2001 Honda Accord in Alabama.
2007: Honda reports three incidents of air bags rupturing to Takata.
November 2008: Honda orders a recall of 4,000 vehicles equipped with possibly defective air bags.
May 27, 2009: A driver of a 2001 Honda Accord is killed in Oklahoma when the vehicle’s air bag ruptures.
June 2009: Honda recalls more than half a million air bags to fix the defect.
November 2009: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opens an investigation into Honda’s handling of the recalls but later determines that the automaker had acted responsibly.
January 2012: In a meeting with U.S. auto-safety regulators, Takata “failed to clarify inaccurate information” on the air bags, according to a consent decree the company later signed.
June 11, 2014: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opens a formal defect investigation into Takata air bags.
Feb. 20, 2015: NHTSA orders Takata to pay $14,000 per day for an inadequate response to the defect probe.
May 18, 2015: With at least six deaths already linked to the defect, Takata acknowledges that some of its inflators may be defective and agrees to pay up to $200 million in penalties in a consent agreement with NHTSA. It agrees to accept an independent compliance monitor and agrees to a recall of some 32 million inflators on vehicles for many automakers, including BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota.
Jan, 22, 2016 – Federal auto safety regulators attribute a tenth death to a ruptured Takata air bag.
Feb. 2, 2016 – A panel led by former U.S. Transportation Secretary and White House Chief of Staff Samuel Skinner issues a report concluding that Takata must revamp its procedures for checking the quality of its car products. The panel also determines that the company needs to automate the loading of propellant into air bag inflators instead of continuing its practice of loading it mostly by hand.
May 4, 2016 – The air bag maker agrees to recall another 35 million to 40 million air bag inflators, making it the largest recall in U.S. history.
Feb. 27, 2017 – Takata pleads guilty to criminal charges in a U.S. court, agreeing to pay $1 billion in penalties, and its chief financial officer says that the company’s conduct has been “deeply inappropriate.” The deal includes a $25 million criminal fine, a $125 million victim compensation fund and $850 million to be paid to automakers.
May 18, 2017: Four automakers — Toyota, Mazda, Subaru and BMW — agree to their own settlement with consumers over economic-loss claims by owners of vehicles equipped with Takata air bags. The deal, worth $553 million deal for consumers, paves the way for potential future settlements among other automakers and consumers.
Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2t7f6tF