Takata knew that exploding airbags could shoot out metal debris as far back as 2004 – they destroyed the evidence

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Takata

First Coast News reports on a news breaking article that was in the New York Times on November 7, 2014.  Takata knew its airbags  could explode and send metal debris at drivers  for years.  This information comes from two unnamed former employees.  These individuals report that then-vice president for engineering Al Bernat witnessed airbag inflaters crack during secret tests at the Japanese company’s US headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., in 2004.   They also say that some 50 airbags were sourced from cars in scrapyards and tested during off-hours. Two airbags’ steel inflaters cracked during that testing, and engineers started working on prototypes of fixes.

But three months later, the secret effort was axed,  The New York Times reached out to Bernat  who had no comment, but the former workers say he brushed off the two damaged inflaters as having been “corrupted by weather” because they were taken from cars with cracked windshields.  The company’s first recall over airbag rupture risks came in 2008. Since then, some 14 million vehicles have been recalled; four deaths and 139 injuries have been blamed on the company’s airbags. The New York Times‘ report digs into other alleged quality-control issues at Takata. Click here for that article:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/07/business/airbag-maker-takata-is-said-to-have-conducted-secret-tests.html?_r=0

With this stunning testimony coming to light, two U.S. senators asked that the Justice Department open a criminal probe to investigate allegations that the company had knowingly destroyed evidence prior to a widespread recall covering several manufacturers and millions of vehicles.  The Senators  said in a statement responding to this article “These allegations are credible and shocking — plainly warranting a prompt and aggressive criminal probe,” Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts.

Takata Airbag Recalls: Affected Vehicles

This list of affected vehicles was compiled from information automakers provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some of the recalls are region-specific, and not all cars in a make or model year are affected, so drivers are advised to contact their dealers for more information.

Manufacturer

Model and Year

BMW

3-Series 2000-6

Chrysler

300 2005-8
Aspen 2007-8
Dakota 2005-8
Dodge Ram Pickup 2003-8
Durango 2004-8
Mitsubishi Raider 2006-7

Ford

GT 2005-6
Mustang 2005-7
Ranger 2004

Honda

Accord 2001-7
Acura CL 2002-3
Acura 3.2CL 2003
Acura MDX 2003-6
Acura RL 2005
Acura TL 2002-3
Acura 3.2TL 2002-3
Civic 2001-5
Civic Hybrid 2003
CR-V 2002-6
Element 2003-11
Odyssey 2002-4
Pilot 2003-7
Ridgeline 2006

Mazda

Mazda6 2006
Mazda7 2007
MPV 2004
RX8 2004-8
Speed6 2006
Speed7 2007

Mitsubishi

Lancer 2004-5

Nissan

Infiniti FX 2003
Infiniti FX 35 2003-5
Infiniti FX 45 2003-5
Infiniti I30 2001-3
Infiniti I35 2001-3
Infiniti M35 2006
Infiniti M45 2006
Infiniti QX4 2002-3
Maxima 2001-3
Pathfinder 2001-3
Sentra 2002-6

Pontiac

Vibe 2003-4

Subaru

Baja 2003-4
Impreza 2004-5
Legacy 2003-4
Outback 2003-4

Toyota

Corolla 2002-5
Corolla Matrix 2002-5
Lexus SC 2002-4
Lexus SC430 2002-5
Sequoia 2002-5
Tundra 2002-5

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