US: Takata eschews NHTSA order for nationwide airbag recall image

According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Takata has actually dismissed the express order issued last week to embark on a nationwide recall of airbags.

The Japanese auto safety parts supplier Takata Corp. is at the center of a huge auto safety scandal, after millions of cars (many of them in the US, involved in a regional campaign that only affects humid regions) have been called back because of defective airbags. The Japanese company had until yesterday to respond to NHTSA’s order, and the US safety regulator has deemed their statement (it’s not public yet) “disappointing”, moving to further criticize the piecemeal approach in working with a potentially deadly flaw.

“NHTSA received Takata’s disappointing response to our demand for a national recall of certain driver’s side airbags,” said Deputy Administrator David Friedman. “Takata shares responsibility for keeping drivers safe and we believe anything short of a national recall does not live up to that responsibility.”

Additionally, contacted by Bloomberg for comments on the matter, Hitoshi Sano, Takata’s chief of investor relations, confirmed the company is not aiming to expand the recall beyond the already initiated safety campaigns.

“Takata remains committed to cooperating closely with our customers and NHTSA to address the potential for inflator rupturing,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Shigehisa Takada said in a statement yesterday. “We will take all actions needed to advance the goal of safety for the driving public, including working to produce additional replacement units to support any further recalls that may be announced by our customers.”

The company also announced “dramatic actions” that would considerably improve its ability to build more airbag replacement kits and added it hired “top scientists across the globe” to review the airbag issues. Additionally, a new independent panel will oversee the production, providing recommendations on improving the airbags.

Via Bloomber, Reuters