US: regulators ready for legal skirmish with Takata image

The US auto safety agency, the NHTSA has said it is currently probing all options as it investigates the Takata airbag flaw, including starting a legal battle with the Japanese auto safety parts supplier if Takata doesn’t expand the recalls nationwide.

Takata Corp., one of the world’s largest auto safety parts makers, is at the center of a growing global auto safety crisis, as more than ten automakers have recalled millions of cars since 2008 (the majority in the US and after 2013 though) because the airbag inflators can fail and explode with too much force, sending metal parts inside the cabin at high velocity. Because the company believed that besides wear and tear, humidity was favoring cause for the defect, so far in the US the campaigns were limited (they involve millions of cars, still) to humid areas and regions. Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked the supplier to expand the recalls nationwide and Takata refused, saying it’s up to the carmakers to make the decision.

Now, according to David Friedman, the agency’s deputy administrator, the US regulator is gathering its evidence, all the while sorting through tens of thousands of pages of documents provided by Takata itself and the automakers involved. The NHTSA official still provided no timetable for the upcoming steps to be taken against Takata or when a court case would be opened.

Via Automotive News