NHTSA has just fined Takata with a $200 million penalty over its deadly faulty airbags, but the Japanese company can get away with just $70 million if complies immediately.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration imposes a 200 million dollars fine through two orders, being the largest civil penalty in NHTSA’s history for Takata’s violations of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Furthermore, it is for the first time NHTSA is using its authority to accelerate recall repairs for the millions of affected vehicles. The recall involves 12 vehicle manufacturers, more than 23 million inflators and approximately 19 million vehicles, according to federal data. “We are holding Takata responsible for its failures, and we are taking strong action to protect the traveling public,” Mark Rosekind, NHTSA’s administrator said in a statement. The Consent Order issued to Takata obliges the company to phase out the manufacture and sale of inflators that use phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant, which is believed to be a factor in explosive ruptures that have caused 7 deaths and nearly 100 injuries in the United States.
“For years, Takata has built and sold defective products, refused to acknowledge the defect, and failed to provide full information to NHTSA, its customers, or the public,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “The result of that delay and denial has harmed scores of consumers and caused the largest, most complex safety recall in history”. Of that 200 million dollars fine, only 70 million dollars is payable in cash. An extra 130 million dollars would become due if Takata fails to meet its commitments.