Friday, November 14, 2014

Takata subpoenaed by Federal grand jury.

In continuing coverage of the exploding Takata airbags, the company has received a subpoena to produce documents before a Federal grand jury in New York. The US Senate has scheduled a hearing on the issue to be attended by officials from Takata, Honda, and NHTSA. Also, a pregnant woman killed in Malaysia during July when she was hit by shrapnel following a car crash has been connected to the defect.
        The CBS Evening News (11/13, story 5, 0:25, Pelley, 5.08M) reports that Takata “confirmed today that it is the subject of a criminal investigation in the United States over defective air bags that it made for Honda cars.”
        Reuters (11/14, Shiraki, Saito) reports that Takata revealed that it was being investigated during a meeting with financial analysts. Reuters reports that Takata CEO Shigehisa Takada said in a statement posted on the company’s websites, “Our whole company will strengthen our quality management structure and work to prevent an incident from occurring again.”
        Bloomberg News (11/14, Horie, 1.94M) reports that Hitoshi Sano, Takata’s investor relations head, said in a phone interview that he did not know when the company received the subpoena.
        The Detroit (MI) News (11/13, 504K) reports that the Senate Commerce Committee plans to hold a hearing on the matter on November 20 and will be chaired by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). Aside from criticizing the companies, Nelson also said NHTSA “has not been right upfront, forward-leading and aggressive to protect the public.” The News also quotes Takada Shigehisa’s statement, in which he said “We will continue to fully cooperate in the inquiry or request of the relevant authorities.”
        Similar coverage was provided by the AP (11/13), the Detroit Free Press (11/14, 974K), Bloomberg News (11/12, 1.94M), the New York (NY) Times (11/14, Tabuchi, Subscription Publication, 9.9M), USA Today (11/13, 9.86M), Business Insider (11/14, 2.38M), and Law 360 (11/14, 18K). 

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