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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Does Your Car Have An Airbag That Kills?

For weeks, we have been reporting on defective airbags made by the Japanese company Takata built  into many of the cars on Connecticut roads today.  Investigators have found that when these airbags deploy – metal components found in the bags explode sending shrapnel into car occupants . A number of drivers have been killed by this flying debris – others severely injured.

It now turns out that Takata knew about this defect over a decade ago.

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