Three sources from inside the company that have met recently with Shigehisa Takada, the third-generation leader of Takata Corp. point out the head of the Japanese auto safety parts maker doesn’t seem to grasp the huge implications of the growing airbag recall crisis.
The Japanese airbag maker was little known outside its business sector – but has now come to worldwide attention for being at the heart of one of the largest recalls in auto safety history. Millions of cars have been recalled globally (with most of them in the US, though) because their airbag inflators are potentially defective, and they could explode with excessive force, sending metal shards and debris flying inside the cabin at high velocity.
According to the three persons that talked to Reuters under condition of anonymity, just a few days before the November 21 US congressional hearing on the defective airbags, Takada spoke to business associates and pointed out he was the one that dealt with the quality problems, identified as stemming mainly from a flawed production procedure. But, so far, the way the Japanese company handled the massive recalls – with ten automakers involved – has baffled, confused and angered US politicians, regulators and left the public wondering whether they face a peril or not.