Takata Execs Had Airbag Testing Results Erased: Report

Stephen Elmer
by Stephen Elmer

The details surrounding the massive Takata airbag recall are coming to light.

According to a report from the New York Times, executives at the company ordered lab technicians to delete testing data that revealed a problem with the airbag back. It is now known that the airbag’s steel inflators can rupture, flinging metal debris at the passengers.

In 2004, the company secretly conducted tests on 50 airbags after a report came in of metal debris from an airbag hitting a driver in Alabama. Of the 50, two of the inflators cracked. Takata engineers began devising a fix right away because of these results, but executives at the company discounted the findings and ordered that they be destroyed.

SEE ALSO: NHTSA Orders Takata to Answer Questions on Recall

The first proper recall for airbag rupture problems took place in 2008, the same year that Takata officially says it tested the airbags for the first time.

As of today, 11 automakers have recalled 14 million vehicles around the world because of the defects. Four deaths have been tied to the issue along with at least 139 injuries.

Calls for a criminal investigation into Takata are now coming from U.S. lawmakers. “Reports that Takata concealed and destroyed test results revealing fatal air bag defects, along with other evidence that the company was aware of these deadly problems, clearly require a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice,” said Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Edward Markey, D-Mass., in a statement.

[Source: NY Times]

Stephen Elmer
Stephen Elmer

Stephen covers all of the day-to-day events of the industry as the News Editor at AutoGuide, along with being the AG truck expert. His truck knowledge comes from working long days on the woodlot with pickups and driving straight trucks professionally. When not at his desk, Steve can be found playing his bass or riding his snowmobile or Sea-Doo. Find Stephen on <A title="@Selmer07 on Twitter" href="http://www.twitter.com/selmer07">Twitter</A> and <A title="Stephen on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/117833131531784822251?rel=author">Google+</A>

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