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Takata

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Takata
Vehicle Parts Manufacturer

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Official Site: Takata.com
Wikipedia: Takata Corporation

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A manufacturer of automotive safety systems including seat belts, child seats, and airbags.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Takata Corporation page on 7 October 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Takata Corporation (タカタ株式会社 Takata Kabushiki Gaisha) is an automotive parts company based in Japan. The company has production facilities on four continents, with its European headquarters located in Germany, where it also has nine production facilities. In 2013, a series of deaths and injuries associated with defective Takata airbag inflators had led Takata to initially recall 3.6 million cars equipped with such airbags. Further fatalities caused by the airbags have led the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to order an ongoing, nationwide recall of more than 42 million cars, the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. In June 2017, Takata filed for bankruptcy.

Takata was founded in 1933 in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, by Takezo Takada and started to produce lifelines for parachutes, and other textiles. In the early 1950s, the company started to research seat belts. Later they incorporated as "Takata". In the 1960s, Takata started to sell seat-belts and built the world's first crash test plant for testing seat-belts under real world conditions.

In the 1970s, Takata developed child restraint systems. In the 1980s, the company changed its name to "Takata Corporation" and expanded to Korea, the United States, and later to Ireland, to sell seat-belts. In the 1990s, Takata expanded internationally.

In 2000, Takata Corporation acquired German competitor Petri AG, forming the European subsidiary Takata-Petri, renamed Takata AG in early 2012. Takata AG makes steering wheels and plastic parts, not only for the automotive industry.

1995 seat belt recall

In May 1995, a recall in the U.S. affecting 8,428,402 predominantly Japanese built vehicles made from 1986 to 1991 with seat belts manufactured by the Takata Corporation of Japan, was begun. It was called at the time the "second largest recall in the 30-year history of the Department of Transportation (DOT)". The recall was prompted by an investigation (PE94-052) carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Takata-equipped Honda vehicles, after many of their owners complained of seat belt buckles either failing to latch, latching and releasing automatically, or releasing in accidents. It revealed that potentially faulty Takata seat belts were not limited only to Honda vehicles, but to other Japanese imports as well.

NHTSA opened up a second investigation on Takata seatbelts broadly (EA94-036) as well as individual investigations on the vehicle manufacturers using Takata seat belts to determine the magnitude of the defect. This second investigation was only limited to the front seat belt buckles and in particular Takata's 52X and A7X models. This determined that a total of 11 manufacturers were affected by the investigation.

Japanese models sold in the United States by American Honda Motor Co., Isuzu Motors of America Inc., Mazda Motor of America Inc., Nissan North America, Daihatsu Motor Co. American, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc. and Subaru of America Inc. also had affected seat belt buckles.

Moreover, Chrysler, General Motors and Ford all had various models manufactured by Japanese companies with the seat belt buckles concerned, but sold under American names such as the Dodge Stealth and the Geo series (except Prizm) under General Motors.

Ford had vehicles such as the Probe manufactured by Mazda on its MX-6 platform and the Festiva made by Kia in South Korea, but engineered by Mazda that also had the seat belts. However, unlike Chrysler and General Motors, Ford did not admit that their seat belts could be defective.

Initially, some Japanese manufacturers suspected that the seat belt failures were a result of user abuse, rather than a design failure; however, the nine-month investigation by NHTSA concluded that the cause of the defect was that the buckles were made of ABS plastic. Through exposure to ultraviolet light over a period of time, the plastic became brittle and pieces fell off, causing a jamming of the release button mechanism.

The manufacturers involved agreed to a voluntary recall, though this did not go smoothly. Only 18% of the 8.9 million cars and trucks with the Takata belt buckle were repaired two years after the recall had begun. In addition, NHTSA assessed a $50,000 civil penalty against both Honda and Takata for failing to notify the agency about the seat belt defect in a timely manner. Honda was fined because NHTSA believed the company knew about the hazard at least five years before the recall, but never reported the problem to NHTSA, nor offered to conduct a voluntary recall.

Defective airbag recalls (2013–present)

Takata began making airbags in 1988 and, as of 2014, holds 20 percent of the market. During 2013, several automakers began large recalls of vehicles due to Takata-made airbags. Reports state that the problems may have begun a decade before.

Honda stated they knew of more than 100 injuries and eight deaths (seven in the United States plus one in Malaysia) that were related to Takata airbags.

In April and May 2013, a total of 3.6 million cars were recalled due to defective Takata airbags. All of those airbags were made at, or otherwise used inflator units manufactured by, Takata's Monclova Plant in Coahuila, Mexico, operated by Takata's North American/Mexican subsidiary, TK Holdings Inc. In November 2014, BMW announced they will move any orders from the Mexican plant to a Takata plant in Germany.

In June 2014, Takata admitted their Mexican subsidiary had mishandled the manufacture of explosive propellants and improperly stored chemicals used in airbags. Identifying vehicles with defective airbags was made more difficult by the failure of TK Holdings Inc. to keep proper quality control records. That prompted another round of recalls in June 2013.

In their statement the company said, "We take this situation seriously, will strengthen our quality control and make a concerted effort to prevent a recurrence".

On June 23, 2014, auto manufacturers BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, and Toyota announced they were recalling over three million vehicles worldwide due to Takata Corporation-made airbags. The reason was that they could rupture and send flying debris inside the vehicle. This was in response to a US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation that was initiated after the NHTSA received three injury complaints.

In a statement on June 23, 2014, Takata said they thought excessive moisture was the cause of the defect. Haruo Otani, an official at the vehicle recall section of the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, said that moisture and humidity could be seeping inside inflators, destabilizing the volatile propellant inside.

In July 2014, a pregnant Malaysian woman was killed in a collision involving her 2003 Honda City which contained the defective airbag. The woman, aged 42, died when a metal fragment from a ruptured driver’s airbag sliced into her neck in the accident in which she was driving at around 30 km/h when another vehicle hit her at a junction, according to a lawsuit filed by her father at a Miami federal court. Her daughter, delivered after the mother's death, died three days later.

On November 18, 2014, the NHTSA ordered Takata to initiate a nationwide airbag recall. The action came as 10 automakers in the U.S. recalled hundreds of thousands of cars equipped with potentially faulty air bags manufactured by Takata.

As of May 19, 2015, Takata is now responsible for the largest auto recall in history. Takata has already recalled 40 million vehicles across 12 vehicle brands for "Airbags that could explode and potentially send shrapnel into the face and body of both the driver and front seat passenger". This recall will bring the number up to about 53 million automobiles eligible for this recall. In November 2015, Takata was fined $200 million ($70 million paid upfront) by U.S. federal regulators in response to Takata admittance of a default. Toyota, Mazda and Honda have said that they will not use ammonium nitrate-based inflators.

On May 4, 2016, the NHTSA announced recall campaigns of an additional estimated 35-40 million inflators, adding to the already 28.8 million inflators previously recalled.

On August 22, 2016, a truck transporting Takata airbag parts was involved in a crash in Quemado, Texas that caused the cargo to explode, destroying a house and killing a woman inside.

On January 13, 2017, the United States charged three Takata executives, Shinichi Tanaka, Hideo Nakajima and Tsueno Chikaraishi for Takata's exploding airbags. The company agreed to plead guilty and to pay $1 billion to resolve the investigation, which includes a $25 million fine, $125 million for victim compensation and $850 million to compensate automobile manufacturers. At least 16 deaths are linked to the defective airbags.


Multimedia

DateMedia or Collection Name & DetailsFiles
13 January 2017Prosecutor Announces Takata $1B Settlement for Manipulating Airbag Data
VOA News

Article Page
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Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
3 March 1997REPLACEMENT OF TAKATA SAFETY BELTS PROGRESSING TOO SLOWLY, NHTSA SAYSNHTSA
11 April 2013Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mazda Recall 3.4 Million CarsVOA News
21 November 2013Three Takata Corp. Executives Agree to Plead Guilty to Participating in Global Seatbelt Price Fixing ConspiracyU.S. Department of Justice
5 June 2014Former Top Executive of Japanese Automotive Parts Manufacturer Indicted for Role in Conspiracy to Fix PricesU.S. Department of Justice
22 October 2014Consumer Advisory: Vehicle Owners with Defective Airbags Urged to Take Immediate ActionNHTSA
27 October 2014Japanese Auto Supplier Under Scrutiny for Faulty AirbagsVOA News
18 November 2014USDOT Calls for National Recall of Defective Takata Driver Side Air BagsNHTSA
19 November 2014US Demands Wider Auto Air Bag RecallVOA News
20 February 2015U.S Transportation Secretary Foxx Calls on Congress to Authorize New Enforcement Tools for NHTSA and Levies Fine on TakataNHTSA
25 February 2015U.S Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces Order to Preserve Defective Takata Air Bag Inflators for Ongoing Federal InvestigationNHTSA
19 May 2015Department of Transportation announces steps to address Takata air bag defectsNHTSA
22 May 2015Notice of Intent To Open a Coordinated Remedy Program Proceeding for the Replacement of Certain Takata Air Bag InflatorsFederal Register: NHTSA (Mark R. Rosekind)
5 June 2015Notice of Coordinated Remedy Program Proceeding for the Replacement of Certain Takata Air Bag InflatorsFederal Register: NHTSA (Mark R. Rosekind)
9 June 20152005-2014 Ford Mustang Added to Takata Airbag Recall ListPatrick Rall
17 June 2015NHTSA announces all Vehicle Identification Numbers under the Takata air bag recall are loaded into the agency’s search systemNHTSA
22 June 2015All VINs Affected by Takata Recalls Now SearchableNHTSA
11 September 2015Notice of Public Information Meeting and Comment Deadline in the Coordinated Remedy Program Proceeding for the Replacement of Certain Takata Air Bag InflatorsFederal Register: NHTSA (Mark R. Rosekind)
3 November 2015U.S. DOT Imposes Largest Civil Penalty in NHTSA History on Takata for Violating Motor Vehicle Safety Act; Accelerates Recalls to Get Safe Air Bags Into U.S. VehiclesNHTSA
3 November 2015US Imposes Record Fine on Japanese Air Bag MakerVOA News
4 November 2015Honda Cuts Ties With Japanese Airbag MakerVOA News
16 November 2015Coordinated Remedy Order With Annex A; Coordinated Remedy Program ProceedingFederal Register: NHTSA (Mark R. Rosekind)
12 February 2016Several automakers expand their recalls to include cars equipped with defective driver-side air bag inflatorsNHTSA
7 April 2016Another Death Linked to Defective Car AirbagsVOA News
4 May 2016Press Conference to Announce Expansion of Accelerated Takata Air Bag RecallsDr. Mark R. Rosekind, NHTSA
4 May 2016U.S. Department of Transportation expands and accelerates Takata air bag inflator recall to protect American drivers and passengersNHTSA
11 May 2016Takata Recall Expansion - Help Spread the Word to ConsumersNHTSA
9 June 2016More Vehicles Recalled Due to Faulty AirbagsVOA News
30 June 2016NHTSA: New test data on particular subset of Takata air bag inflators shows substantially higher riskNHTSA
22 July 2016NHTSA Enforcement Guidance Bulletin 2016-03; Procedure for Invoking Paragraph 17 of the May 4, 2016 Amendment to the November 3, 2015 Takata Consent OrderFederal Register: NHTSA (Mark R. Rosekind)
20 September 2016General Motors LLC, Receipt of Petition To Amend Takata DIR ScheduleFederal Register: NHTSA (Michael Brown)
20 October 2016NHTSA confirms 11th U.S. fatality tied to rupture of Takata air bag inflatorNHTSA
23 November 2016General Motors LLC, Withdrawal of Petition To Amend Takata DIR ScheduleFederal Register: NHTSA (Michael L. Brown)
28 November 2016General Motors LLC, Receipt of Petition for Inconsequentiality and Decision Granting Request To File Out of Time and Request for Deferral of DeterminationFederal Register: NHTSA (Paul A. Hemmersbaugh)
9 December 2016U.S. DOT accelerates replacements of Takata air bag inflatorsNHTSA
13 January 2017Takata to Plead Guilty, Pay $1B for Airbag Defects VOA News
26 June 2017Air Bag Maker Takata Files For Bankruptcy in Japan, USVOA News
11 July 2017Takata Announces Another Recall of Air BagsVOA News
11 September 2017General Motors LLC, Receipt of Second Petition for Inconsequentiality and Notice of ConsolidationFederal Register: NHTSA (Stephen P. Wood)
29 November 2017NHTSA Releases More Data on Takata Air Bag RepairsNHTSA
9 April 2018General Motors LLC, Receipt of Third Petition for Inconsequentiality and Notice of ConsolidationFederal Register: NHTSA (Jonathan C. Morrison)
7 June 2018NHTSA Deputy Administrator King Urges South Florida Drivers to Check Vehicles for Defective Air Bags - ImmediatelyNHTSA
13 July 2018NHTSA Pushes Automakers to Make Takata Air Bag Repair Plans PublicNHTSA
30 November 2018Safe Management of Recalled AirbagsFederal Register: EPA (Andrew Wheeler)
18 June 2019General Motors LLC, Receipt of Fourth Petition for Inconsequentiality and Notice of ConsolidationFederal Register: NHTSA (Jonathan Morrison)


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