Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Defective Takata airbag grows into global problem for manufacturer. The New York Times (11/19, Gough, Soble, Tabuchi, Subscription Publication, 9.9M) reports that “What began as a largely American problem for Takata is taking on ever-wider proportions, confronting drivers and regulators in multiple countries with differing legal systems and attitudes toward automobile safety.” Last week, the first fatality of a non-US driver was linked to the Japanese airbag manufacturer’s defects thus confirming that faulty inflaters, made at North American plants, ended up in overseas vehicles. “The problem is that nobody knows how far it’s going to go — how many millions more vehicles,” said Koji Endo, an expert on the Japanese automobile industry at Advanced Research Japan. Adding to the company’s troubles, Federal regulators in the US on Tuesday urged automakers to recall cars nationwide that contain driver’s-side airbags made by Takata. Takata executives are scheduled to testify on Thursday at a Senate hearing on auto safety.