Personal Injury Blog

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Imposes Biggest Civil Fine in its History Against Airbag Manufacturer

By: Matthew Tievsky

Takata is a manufacturer of air bag inflators that does business with major automobile manufacturers, such as Toyota and Nissan. However, on November 3, 2015, a Department of Transportation agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), issued two orders directed against Takata.

NHTSA discovered that Takata was using an improper chemical propellant to cause airbags to inflate. The improper chemical caused explosions in some cases, leading to 7 deaths and over 100 injuries in the United States. Furthermore, NHTSA discovered that Takata was aware of the defect in its airbag inflators, but did not recall the products to protect consumers.

As a result of NHTSA’s new orders, Takata will have to pay a $200 million fine. Takata will also have to recall and replace the defective airbag inflators. The NHTSA orders establish that the agency will oversee Takata to make sure that the company complies with its new obligations.

There is no excuse for companies to manufacture and sell cars with known dangerous defects, unbeknownst to drivers. If you know anyone who has been injured as a result of a defect in an automobile, you should contact the personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. for a free consultation.