Takata’s recent decision to fall in line with the US auto safety regulator, the NHTSA, is not going to yield any sympathy from the US lawmakers as they prepare to grill the executive of the Japanese auto safety parts supplier about the defective airbags in almost 34 million autos.
The upcoming hearing, set for next week in Washington D.C, is designed to allow US officials gain the latest update on the problem surrounding the flawed airbags, which have caused the largest single-product recall in US history – with the most important questions being most likely when and how the issue is going to be resolved. Most likely, some of Takata’s executives, as well as officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Transportation department will make an appearance. There are no details though on who will specifically be called to testify in front of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, which is part of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. But given the fact that its chairman, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, has called 2015 as “a year of Takata ruptures and recalls” it would be safe to assume that any Takata official will not have a great day in front of the US officials.
For now, the most problematic issue is that such a massive recall will take years to complete – around five years, after the latest estimates on production of replacement kits. The NHTSA has also filed the necessary paperwork that would cal Takata and the eleven affected automakers prepare a plan to speed up the process.