Japan’s Takata Corp, the auto safety parts maker involved in the massive airbag recall crisis, has announced that its president – rather recently appointed Stefan Stocker, would give up the position.
The company chairman would take his role as the parts maker tries to step up its response to the airbag recall situation that has seen millions of cars recalled globally since 2008. The Takata-produced airbag inflators have been known to explode with too much force, sending metal parts flying inside the cabin at high velocity, with over 24 million cars recalled worldwide and five fatalities linked to the flawed parts.
Stocker, of Swiss origin, came to Takata last year from the largest part maker in the world, privately held Robert Bosch and became the company’s first foreign president – he remains on the board of the company. Shigehisa Takada, which is also the grandson of the company founder, would remain chairman and also take the president’s duties.
The prolonged safety crisis has prompted criticism for the way the company chose to conduct the recalls, facing numerous investigations, dozens of class action lawsuits and even a criminal probe in the United States. Both top executives, Stocker and Takada, have been “missing in action” and had no public appearance since a June shareholders meeting.