According to the New York Times, safety auto parts producer Takata Corp has embarked on a “substantive rebuttal”, claiming to be unfounded the accusations of two former employees.
The latter said in a report that led US politicians to call for a criminal investigation from the Department of Justice that Japan’s Takata years ago – in 2004 – had secret tests on airbags in Michigan and after finding signs the inflators were defective (they were allegedly cracked) decided to bury the results and opted not to issue the proper (law mandated) report to the US safety federal regulators.
Takata, currently at the center of the second-largest safety recall scandal of the year, has seen millions of vehicles equipped with its airbags involved in safety campaigns since 2008. Since 2013 alone in the US automakers recalled at least 8 million autos because the airbag’s inflator can explode with too much force and spray shrapnel inside the cabin at high velocity. New York Times reports that engineers of the company “did not and could not perform inflator tests in 2004 in response to that accident,” because they allegedly found out about the accident of a Honda Accord in Alabama in May 2004 (driver injured) until halfway through 2005.
Via Reuters, New York Times