Takata has been fined $70 million and could face $130 million more in fines.
The massive airbag recall that has affected millions of vehicles worldwide has resulted in the company getting fined $70 million as part of a consent order with U.S. auto safety regulators. The agreement was made with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Takata could still be fined $130 million more if the company violates the terms of its consent order or U.S. auto safety laws.
Today, Takata admitted it was aware of a defect but failed to issue a timely recall as part of the settlement. The company will have to operate under stricter regulatory scrutiny for five years and will have an independent safety monitor selected by NHTSA to ensure compliance with the order.
In addition, Takata has agreed to phase out its use of ammonium nitrate propellant in airbag inflators and will recall all inflators that use ammonium nitrate unless it can definitively prove to NHTSA that the chemical is safe for the life of the vehicle. The supplier is also barred from signing new contracts that use the propellant chemistry and must end its use in current deals by the end of 2018.
“For years Takata has built and sold defective inflators. It refused to acknowledge they were defective. It provided incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading information to NHTSA, to the companies using its inflators and to the public,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said at a press conference.