Friday, October 31, 2014
NHTSA orders Takata to turn over documents on airbags
In continuing coverage of the recall of 14 million vehicles equipped with airbags made by Takata, the New York (NY) Times (10/31, Kessler, Subscription Publication, 9.9M) reports that NHTSA has “demanded that Takata turn over records regarding the production, testing and subsequent concerns raised internally and by automakers over the airbags, as well as communications between the company and automakers about defect concerns.” NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman said “We are compelling Takata to produce documents and answer questions under oath relevant to our ongoing investigation into defective airbags they have produced.” The Times reports that an investigation conducted by NHTSA five years ago determined that there was “insufficient information” that Honda and Takata had delayed action on the airbags. The Times notes that the House Energy and Commerce Committee has asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate NHTSA’s handling of the matter.
USA Today (10/30, Woodyard, 9.86M) reports that NHTSA has received criticism for its handling of the issue, with Clarence Ditlow, executive director for the Center for Auto Safety, saying “What they’re doing with this special order is something they should have done back in July.”
The Detroit (MI) News (10/30, Shepardson, 504K) reports that Friedman also told 10 automakers that have used Takata as a supplier to expedite their recalls, saying, “While decisive measures are being taken to address the safety threat, more can and should be done as soon as possible to prevent any further tragedies from occurring as a result of these defective air bags.”
Similar coverage was provided by the Wall Street Journal (10/31, White, Subscription Publication, 5.62M), Reuters (10/31, Klayman, Lienert), the AP (10/30), the Washington (DC) Post (10/30, Basulto, 4.9M), Bloomberg (10/31, 2.95M), Bloomberg News (10/31, Green, Plungis, 1.94M), Bloomberg BusinessWeek (10/30, 2.52M), Automotive News (10/30, 181K), NBC News (10/31, 3.76M), Cars (10/31, 730K), the Detroit (MI) Bureau (10/31), and Salon (10/30, 1.13M).