More Cars Being Recalled in Takata Airbag Scandal

Takata, the Japanese airbag manufacturer with factories in Japan and the U.S., has been in the news a lot the past six months.

Why?

Because they manufacture an airbag used in Hondas, Toyotas, Fords, Nissans, BMWs and other cars that is dangerously defective. When the airbags deploy during an accident, they send debris into a car’s cabin. In many instances, this debris has seriously injured or killed drivers and passengers. More than 20 million cars with these dangerous airbags have been recalled to date.

Is it possible that Takata knew nothing of the dangers of these airbags?

No.

Internal emails recently released by the company reveal a pattern of test data misrepresentation and manipulation.

Engineers at the company openly joked of manipulating test results and using tricks to hide or divert attention from damaging data.

“Happy Manipulating” wrote one engineer at Takata to another in reference to data the two were sharing. In other emails – engineers actually boasted about their manipulations.

Takata’s pattern of manipulating safety data appears to date back to the year 2000 – just as the company began introducing the new and dangerous inflator.

Takata’s biggest customer for some time has been the Honda Motor Company. They now admit they are aware of evidence that Takata did manipulate data to protect sales of the device. Honda recently announced they will no longer do business with them.

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Big Companies Bending the Rules

It has been written that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely…”

Sadly, that statement often applies to powerful corporations.

Throughout history, the owners and management of powerful companies have all too often chosen profits over the wellbeing of employees and consumers.

In the late 19th century, large rail, mining and steel corporations (among others) regularly forced employees to work in dangerous, unsafe environments – choices that often led to serious career and life ending personal injuries.

In the 20th century, car, appliance, medical, and technology companies – to name just a few – repeatedly and knowingly sold unsafe products to unsuspecting consumers. Think Corvair, Ford Pinto, Bextra, Accutane, and others.

Each time, choices were made to put profit over public safety.

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Buying Toys for the Holidays? Buyer Beware of Defective Products.

The holiday season is fun for many reasons – not the least of which is the joy it brings to the children in our lives. This season is also a time when many of us are buying toys for our kids and grandkids.

But buyer beware…

Researchers from the Center for Injury and Research policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio just released a study in the journal Clinical Pediatrics analyzing 1990-2011 data from the U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

What they found… toy related injuries among children (infants to adolescents) has jumped 40% in the past 20 years.  In fact – every three (3) minutes a child is treated in an emergency room in America for a toy related injury.  More than 50% of these injuries occurred with children under the age of five.

What toys are major culprits in injuries to children?

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What Is One Of The Greatest Threats To Your Safety?

Sadly – corporate power and corporate greed.

We have written much on this topic… about companies making choices that ignore dangerous safety issues in an effort to protect profits.

Let’s look at car accidents again. They occur for may reasons – including driver error.

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Big Corporations Can Be Dangerous to Your Health…

Thriving companies operating in free markets are a backbone of American greatness.   But as we’ve learned over and over again throughout our history, sometimes the companies that make us great also make choices that favor profits over safety.

Think GM.

As we reported last week, for almost a decade, GM knowingly and willfully sold cars to consumers that GM engineers knew caused serious and sometimes fatal car accidents as a result of faulty ignition systems.  What’s more – they knew about the problem, designed and manufactured an inexpensive solution to eliminate the problem, and then told no one.  The result – hundreds of people were injured and many were killed in catastrophic car accidents involving these vehicles.

Irresponsible…

General Motors said just this week that it believes at least 12 people were killed by the flawed ignition switch installed in more than 1.6 million of their cars… an acknowledgment the company knows who the victims are.

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