According to a report coming from The Wall Street Journal, the federal prosecutors have opened a probe to see whether Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp’s executives withheld information from regulators.
The case has been initiated as a response to Takata’s ongoing airbag problems, and the prosecutors want to find out if the company misled the NHTSA about the real number of airbags sold to automakers, including Toyota and Honda.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued on Tuesday a notice that urged owners of millions of vehicles affected by the airbag recalls to resolve the problem – consequently the website that covers US recalls has been crashed by the swelling number of motorists seeking to find if their car was among the affected.
The NHTSA is now involved in an ongoing investigation (separate from the reported US prosecutor case) to find out if airbags produced by Takata between 2000 and 2007 were faulty or just sensitive to high humidity air. The regulator suspects the inflators of the airbags were improperly sealed and when they inflate they could send shrapnel and metal debris flying through the cabin at high velocity. The recalls cover millions of vehicles produced by Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and GM.