NHTSA Fining Takata $14,000 Per Day for Not Explaining Documents
Takata is facing civil fines for its alleged refusal to collaborate with a federal investigation over its shrapnel-firing airbag inflators and injured dozens more.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said now that Takata hadn't complied with two specific orders it sent to the Japanese provider in October and November that requested complete explanations of its "deluge of records." Up to now, Takata has sent NHTSA more than 2.4 million records relating to its airbag inflators, but the bureau has little notion what they really mean, as stated by the filing. In later Congressional testimony, Takata said it didn't find evidence to support this type of recall, though it still declared that it didn't understand the cause of the flaw. Since that time, Mazda, Honda, and Ford have made their driver's-side airbag recalls not international.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx needs to raise the maximum allowable fines for automakers.
NHTSA said it could start serving deposition notices to Takata workers in the U.S. and Japan if Takata continues to disregard the specific order. Individually, national lawyers in the Southern District of New York--the same district which is inquiring GM's defective ignition switches and which gained a $1.2 billion resolution from Toyota for accidental acceleration--have sent Takata subpoenas for records, which indicates Takata may face a full blown criminal case. The organization has said it'd make the results public and is directing its own internal audit. Meanwhile, third party testing is being conducted by automakers and Mazda on the recalled inflators to look for the difficulty, since the very first Takata recalls started on Honda vehicles, which hasn't been clear.
The $14,000 daily fine sums to two different $7000 fines, the maximum sum permitted under Department of Transportation regulations. Another six bills suggested by various legislators would try to do exactly the same.
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