WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Feb. 27 that Takata Corporation, a leading supplier of automotive safety equipment based in Tokyo, will pay $1 billion for allegations of selling defective airbags.
“For over a decade, Takata lied to its customers about the safety and reliability of its ammonium nitrate-based airbag inflators,” said acting assistant attorney general Kenneth Blanco. “Takata abused the trust of both its customers and the public by allowing airbag inflators to be put in vehicles knowing that the inflators did not meet the required specifications. [This] sentence shows that the department will work tirelessly to hold responsible those who engage in this type of criminal conduct.”
According to allegations, Takata conducted a scheme to defraud customers from 2000 to 2015 by giving false airbag inflator test data to auto manufacturers to make the airbags seem safer. Executives at the company allegedly refused to provide true and accurate information even after the company’s airbags had performance problems in the field.
“The commission of fraudulent activity by the Takata Corporation to generate corporate profits jeopardized the safety of American consumers,” said special agent in charge David Gelios.