US: Takata hit with criminal probe over airbag recalls image

Japanese auto safety supplier Takata Corp has announced it has become part of a US criminal probe, tasked to investigate the ongoing airbag recall debacle that has been so far linked to five fatalities.

On Thursday a company spokesperson acknowledged the parts maker was the subject of a federal grand jury subpoena, with Takata’s division in the US asked to produce all documents related to the defective airbags. Just as it was the case with the General Motors ignition switch recall scandal, a US Senate commerce committee has also decided to separately schedule a hearing next Thursday, seeking testimonies from Takata executives about the ongoing airbag recalls. Since 2008, millions of vehicles have been recalled worldwide by ten automakers because of potentially flawed airbag inflators that could explode with too much force, sending shrapnel and metal debris flying inside the cabin at high velocity.

In related news, we also found out that a Honda Motors official (the company is Takata’s largest client) has been asked to also testify before the US Senate Commerce Committee during the November 20 hearing. Honda said in a statement it was looking forward to the opportunity to speak about ongoing “efforts to resolve this very complex situation in the interest of customers’ safety.” All five fatalities linked so far to the airbag recalls have been in Honda vehicles.

Via Reuters