Japan’s Takata Corp. and 81-year-old manufacturer that was almost unknown until recently is at the heart of the second largest safety crisis of the year in the automotive industry.
While the safety parts producer is the second largest in the world in that particular field, until 2008 little was known about a company tasked to produce the systems designed to save lives in the unfortunate event of a crash. But, since, 2008 millions of automobiles from ten different carmakers have been recalled – the fault lying with the airbags. The defective inflator in the airbag can explode with too much force and send metal debris flying through the cabin. In the US alone, recalls from 2013 and 2014 have amounted to around 8 million units.
Now, with the recent developments – probes coming from the US safety regulator and calls to conduct a criminal investigation on the grounds that the producer conducted secret tests on the airbags years ago, discarding the findings – the Takata Chairman Shigehisa Takada was supposed to be on site for tomorrow’s analyst briefing in Tokyo. The manager, instead of coming forward and addressing the airbag crisis that continues to deepen, has elected to stay in the shade and pushed forward the company’s Chief Financial Officer Yoichiro Nomura.