Takata airbag recall


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Takata pleads guilty, reaches US settlement

The US Justice Department announced on January 13 that safety-equipment supplier Takata will plead guilty to criminal misconduct and pay $1.4 billion in penalties. Takata’s defective airbags were linked to at least 16 deaths and over 180 injuries worldwide. The Wall Street Journal reported that Takata is expected to agree to come up with the settlement either within a year or when it secures a financial backer.

Three executives, Shinichi Tanaka, Hideo Nakajima and Tsuneo Chikaraishi, have also been charged with fabricating test data to hide a fatal airbag defect, according to Reuters. It was revealed that the Takata executives knew as early as 2000 that the airbag inflators were explosive under certain conditions. “For more than a decade, Takata repeatedly and systematically falsified critical test data related to the safety of its products, putting profits and production schedules ahead of safety,” said Andrew Weissmann, head of the Justice Department’s fraud section.

Shares in Takata rose 17 per cent (once news of the settlement had become public), closing on Friday at 707 yen, or $(US)6.12. Reuters reported in November that Takata was considering a bankruptcy filing for its US unit while looking for a sponsor to cover liabilities for the faulty airbags. Several companies have expressed interest, according to the Nikkei Review, although an announcement has yet to be made. Recall liabilities are expected to top $14 billion.

Recalls for faulty airbags began in 2013, with 3.4 million cars initially affected, and has rapidly expanded. Over 100 million vehicles were recalled worldwide across over a dozen car manufacturers, including Honda, Toyota and BMW. A Fair Go investigation found over 300,000 cars were affected in New Zealand, with many faulty airbags still to be replaced.

 

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Takata stock slumps

Takata stock slumped by as much as 8.8 per cent after a Japanese day trader told his 103,000 Twitter followers that he had sold his shares.

The slump was the biggest intraday decline since November 9 and finished the day down 7.5 percent in Tokyo.

The trader, known as CIS, sold all the Takata shares he’d purchased three weeks ago and estimated that his Takata trade, involving about 800,000 shares, had netted a pretax gain of about $1.2 million.

According to automotivenews.com, Takata had climbed to the highest since January 29 at Tuesday’s close of business.

CIS began his Takata trade when the shares rose, after reports that it’s US subsidiary was planning to file for bankruptcy. “The stock rose even after a piece of really bad news came out,” he told Automotive News. “For me that’s a sign of strong demand.”

he said that he sold the shares because they had stopped rising once a potential sale to Autoliv or Key Safety was beginning to progress.

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Airbag list update

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has announced a reduced list of vehicles requiring visual verification that the passenger airbag is connected.

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Texan sues Honda, Takata over airbag

A Texas woman is suing American Honda and the US subsidiary of Takata, claiming she was badly injured when the airbag in her car exploded in a low-speed accident. (more…)

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Dealer sues competitor for Takata sales

A US dealer is suing his competitor for selling used vehicles which require their airbags to be replaced as part of the Takata safety recall.  (more…)

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Toyota to recall another 5.8m cars

Toyota will recall another 5.8 million cars over potentially faulty airbag inflators made by Takata, reports Automotive News. (more…)

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Disabled airbags in cars

Toyota NZ has identified 7,560 imported vehicles with the front passenger airbags disabled, as a quick fix to the Takata recall.  (more…)

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New NZTA airbag tests

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has confirmed it will require greater checks of imported vehicles to ensure airbags have not been disabled as a quick fix in the Takata recall. (more…)

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New airbag checks for imports

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will be introducing new inspection procedures for imported vehicles, to ensure their airbags have not been disengaged as a quick fix in the Takata recall.  (more…)

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Takata recall: expect calls

Media coverage in New Zealand about the Takata airbag recall is likely to prompt an increase in inquiries from concerned members of the public, warns the Motor Industry Association (MIA). (more…)

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Takata sells interiors biz

Takata’s interiors subsidiary, Irvin Automotive, is to be sold to Detroit auto parts maker Piston Group, Reuters reports. (more…)

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