A recently formed panel that was tasked to investigate Japan’s Takata Corp. has announced that it would primarily focus on the company’s manufacturing quality lapses.
The leader of the audit, Samuel Skinner, a former US transportation secretary under President George H.W. Bush and later White House chief of staff, said that “Takata has an opportunity here to look at how they do business and to see if they can do it better,” with the independent panel ready to asses the auto safety parts supplier now entrenched in a global recall crisis. The Japanese company’s airbag inflators have been at the heart of numerous worldwide recalls – being prone to explode with too much force and send inside the cabin at high velocity shrapnel and metal debris. Now, a seven-member team has been formed and tasked to improve the auto supplier even as Takata is still searching for the primary cause of the defect.
Japan’s Takata has established independent review panels, commissioned new public relations representatives and made structural changes to its management team as the defective airbags have brought headwinds – with the company’s shares dropping 51 percent in 2014. US regulators and safety over viewers in other countries have embarked on investigating the flawed safety systems, which have caused so far four deaths in the United States and more than 100 injuries. While Takata’s internal review teams focus on finding the root cause of the defect, Skinner’s panel would instead direct its attention on updating the design, testing and quality of materials to ensure they didn’t miss any quality lapses.