By on November 7, 2014

According to the New York Times, a group of former Takata workers has come forward with materials that indicate that Takata performed secret tests in 2004 on junkyard airbags. Those tests demonstrated a clear risk of driver injury and preparations were made for a recall. Then the management stepped in.

The article alleges that

But instead of alerting federal safety regulators to the possible danger, Takata executives discounted the results and ordered the lab technicians to delete the testing data from their computers and dispose of the airbag inflaters in the trash…

It gets worse.

internal documents suggest Takata engineers scrambled as late as 2009 to repair a machine at its Monclova plant that pressed explosive propellant powder into pellets after “inflaters tested from multiple propellant lots showed aggressive ballistics,”… “It makes me sick.”

Credit should be given to the NYT for putting this information forward, even if it is in the service of the American government-media-automotive complex and its need to have attention diverted from the GM ignition switch fiasco. Credit should also be given to the Takata engineers who are speaking up, even if they waited ten years to do so.

In light of this newest information, it seems difficult to believe that the US Government will take any action less than a Mortal-Kombat-style “fatality” move regarding Takata. The company has committed two sins. First, they knowingly endangered the lives of millions of people. More importantly, they are not a bank or an insurance company or a Big Three automaker. They aren’t “too big to fail”, which means they aren’t too heavy to hang from the nearest tree. In this case, the politically necessary thing to do is also made remarkably easy by the expendable nature of OEM suppliers.

What if it had been Honda itself that made the airbags? What would the senators from Ohio and Indiana and Alabama and California have to say about any proposed punishment? Luckily Takata is a supplier. Suppliers are like insurgents, you know?

Video contains NSFW language. NSFW! DO NOT LISTEN AT WORK!!!!!

Takata is likely to find itself in the position of being the “insurgents” here.

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54 Comments on “NYT: Takata Buried The Negative Results Of Secret In-House Testing...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Too early for Madonna

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    “What if it had been Honda itself that made the airbags? What would the senators from Ohio and Indiana and Alabama and California have to say about any proposed punishment?”

    That is really kind of upsetting to think about since we all know the answer.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Takata knew that it had a serious problem and tried to hide it.

    GM placed too much emphasis on user error and had a culture that discouraged it from acting timely.

    There is a difference between actively suppressing bad news and misunderstanding the problem and responding to it too slowly. Willful neglect is worse than bureaucratic incompetence.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Is this textbook “lessor of two evils?” Both show willful negligence

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Pch strains mightily to distinguish Takata’s alleged behavior and GM’s alleged behavior, when there’s barely, or more likely, no difference between either their respective behavior, assuming the main allegations turns out to be true, or the consequences thereof:

      During pretrial depositions, Cooper presented evidence from an engineering expert who found that parts inside Cobalt switches had been changed after Melton’s car was manufactured.

      The change tightened the switches and made them unlikely to slip out of ‘run.’

      In one deposition, GM engineer Ray DeGiorgio, the lead switch designer, told Cooper that he knew nothing about the changes. Also, he never authorized part maker Delphi Corp. to alter the switches.

      Cooper contends DeGiorgio lied under oath and GM’s lawyers concealed it. There should be documentation of such a dramatic change to a part, but GM failed to produce it, even when ordered by a judge, Cooper said. ‘It’s all part of the cover-up,’ he said.

      After DeGiorgio’s deposition in May 2013, an attorney representing GM reported the switch alteration to company lawyers, calling it a ‘bombshell.’

      Cooper knew he was on to something. But thinking he was at a legal dead-end to prove a cover-up, he reached the deal for GM to settle with Melton’s parents, Beth and Ken.

      A report released by GM last month shows that the lawyer who represented GM warned of a ‘substantial adverse verdict’ in a trial.

      After the case was settled and GM recalled the cars, congressional subcommittees summoned CEO Mary Barra to Washington. Staffers demanded thousands of documents from GM and parts maker Delphi.

      The request unearthed a major problem for GM. Delphi provided a GM Form 3660 from April of 2006 that showed that DeGiorgio signed off on changing the switches but didn’t change the part number, making the alteration harder to track.

      At a hearing, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, told Barra that DeGiorgio perjured himself, and also said GM withheld the form in the Melton case, even though legally required to provide it.

      ‘Corporations think they can get away with hiding documents from litigants and there will be no consequences,’ McCaskill told her. ‘I want to make sure there’s consequences.’

      Barra replied that if GM withheld a document, it will ‘deal with’ those responsible.

      About a month after that hearing, Cooper filed a motion in Cobb County, Georgia, contending that the Meltons would not have settled had they known that DeGiorgio lied and GM covered it up.

      Their lawyers say punitive damages against GM could far exceed the $5 million settlement. And they won’t settle with Feinberg because they want a trial to find out what happened in Brooke’s crash.

      Three weeks ago, GM dismissed 15 employees after former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas issued a report blaming its failure to recall the cars on a dysfunctional corporate culture. DeGiorgio and some lawyers were among those let go.

      In his report to GM’s board, Valukas wrote that he found DeGiorgio’s change form in company files, where it had been since June of 2006.

      Yet GM didn’t produce the document when ordered by the Georgia judge, Cooper said. That could mean legal trouble for GM.

      Historically, courts have been reluctant to reopen lawsuits once they’re settled. But the document with DeGiorgio’s signature could help the Meltons’ cause, said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit.

      If the family wins, other settled cases could be reopened and could go to trial, raising the risk of big punitive damages, Henning said. Lawyers in other cases also will want bigger payments from Feinberg because if Cooper can prove fraud, it makes their cases stronger.

      The GM lawyers who told the court the DeGiorgio document didn’t exist are at risk of disciplinary action, according to Henning. Lawyers can’t tell a court something doesn’t exist and then say they didn’t know about it. ‘If you say it’s not in there, it was your obligation to make sure it wasn’t in there,’ he said.

      Prosecutors also could pursue a perjury charge against DeGiorgio, but it’s difficult to prove, Henning said. DeGiorgio told Valukas that he didn’t remember signing the document.

      Associated Press has been unable to reach DeGiorgio. GM’s law firm in the Melton case, King & Spalding, would not comment.

      Using a methodology developed to compensate victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Feinberg rolled out his compensation plan on Monday. In death cases, it considers age, annual earnings and number of dependents. People can opt for quick settlements, or they can go to Feinberg with extraordinary circumstances that might warrant more money. There’s no limit to how much Feinberg can pay in death cases, and GM has no right to appeal.

      At a press conference, the biggest settlement example Feinberg cited under his formula was $7.8 million for a 10-year-old whose crash injuries paralyzed two limbs.

      There are legal loopholes that protect GM and make it appealing for victims to go to Feinberg instead of going to trial. Most states give people one or two years after a crash to file lawsuits. If they miss that statute of limitations, they usually can’t file.

      Also, under its bankruptcy deal, GM is shielded from claims due to crashes that happened before it left bankruptcy protection in July of 2009. Those claims instead go against ‘Old GM,’ the company that existed before the automaker filed for Chapter 11. That entity has few assets. This creates two classes of claims, one against the old company and the other against the new GM with deep pockets — a $27 billion cash stockpile.

      GM has asked that the bankruptcy judge enforce the shield, but lawyers want all claims to go against the ‘New GM.’

      Cooper says using the bankruptcy shield contradicts what GM wants the public to see — a company willing to atone for its misdeeds.

      GM wants to appear willing to pay victims, but the bankruptcy shield ‘effectively says ‘we want to compensate you under the rules that we choose,’ Wayne State University’s Henning said.

      GM spokesman Greg Martin says the company is voluntarily compensating victims.

      Still, for crashes like Melton’s, which happened after GM’s bankruptcy, neither loophole applies. That puts GM at risk since it has admitted the switches were defective and its employees were incompetent and negligent.

      ‘GM has essentially pulled all of its defenses,’ Henning said.

      The Melton case is even worse for GM, as noted in an August, 2013 case summary from Phil Holladay, a King & Spalding lawyer defending the company. According to Valukas, who viewed the summary, Holladay wrote that the case was a poor candidate for trial.

      Cooper, Holladay wrote, will argue that GM knew about the defective switches since the Cobalt first rolled off the assembly line, yet it has ‘essentially done nothing to correct the problem for the last nine years.’

      Cooper says if the Meltons can reopen their case, a trial would finally expose the truth.

      ‘This case is the best case to get at what GM knew and when they knew it,’ he said.”

      SO, LET’S SUMMARIZE:

      “Still, for crashes like Melton’s, which happened after GM’s bankruptcy, neither loophole applies. That puts GM at risk since it has admitted the switches were defective and its employees were incompetent and negligent.

      ‘GM has essentially pulled all of its defenses,’ Henning said.

      The Melton case is even worse for GM, as noted in an August, 2013 case summary from Phil Holladay, a King & Spalding lawyer defending the company. According to Valukas, who viewed the summary, Holladay wrote that the case was a poor candidate for trial.

      Cooper, Holladay wrote, will argue that GM knew about the defective switches since the Cobalt first rolled off the assembly line, yet it has ‘essentially done nothing to correct the problem for the last nine years.\'”

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2677015/Georgia-lawsuit-causing-trouble-GM.html

      RIGHT, Pch101, RIIIIIGHT….

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Pch101 is grasping at the air in trying to distinguish Takata’s & GM’s actions, deceptions, and the consequences thereof (GM has admitted that its employees lied & covered up the defective ignition cylinder supplied by Delphi, but they are trying the thread a legal needle resting on bankruptcy law):

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2677015/Georgia-lawsuit-causing-trouble-GM.html

      “During pretrial depositions, Cooper presented evidence from an engineering expert who found that parts inside Cobalt switches had been changed after Melton’s car was manufactured.

      The change tightened the switches and made them unlikely to slip out of ‘run.’

      In one deposition, GM engineer Ray DeGiorgio, the lead switch designer, told Cooper that he knew nothing about the changes. Also, he never authorized part maker Delphi Corp. to alter the switches.

      Cooper contends DeGiorgio lied under oath and GM’s lawyers concealed it. There should be documentation of such a dramatic change to a part, but GM failed to produce it, even when ordered by a judge, Cooper said. ‘It’s all part of the cover-up,’ he said.

      After DeGiorgio’s deposition in May 2013, an attorney representing GM reported the switch alteration to company lawyers, calling it a ‘bombshell.’

      Cooper knew he was on to something. But thinking he was at a legal dead-end to prove a cover-up, he reached the deal for GM to settle with Melton’s parents, Beth and Ken.

      A report released by GM last month shows that the lawyer who represented GM warned of a ‘substantial adverse verdict’ in a trial…

      Three weeks ago, GM dismissed 15 employees after former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas issued a report blaming its failure to recall the cars on a dysfunctional corporate culture. DeGiorgio and some lawyers were among those let go.

      In his report to GM’s board, Valukas wrote that he found DeGiorgio’s change form in company files, where it had been since June of 2006.

      Yet GM didn’t produce the document when ordered by the Georgia judge, Cooper said. That could mean legal trouble for GM.

      Historically, courts have been reluctant to reopen lawsuits once they’re settled. But the document with DeGiorgio’s signature could help the Meltons’ cause, said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit.

      If the family wins, other settled cases could be reopened and could go to trial, raising the risk of big punitive damages, Henning said. Lawyers in other cases also will want bigger payments from Feinberg because if Cooper can prove fraud, it makes their cases stronger.

      The GM lawyers who told the court the DeGiorgio document didn’t exist are at risk of disciplinary action, according to Henning. Lawyers can’t tell a court something doesn’t exist and then say they didn’t know about it. ‘If you say it’s not in there, it was your obligation to make sure it wasn’t in there,’ he said.

      Prosecutors also could pursue a perjury charge against DeGiorgio, but it’s difficult to prove, Henning said. DeGiorgio told Valukas that he didn’t remember signing the document.
      Still, for crashes like Melton’s, which happened after GM’s bankruptcy, neither loophole applies. That puts GM at risk since it has admitted the switches were defective and its employees were incompetent and negligent.

      ‘GM has essentially pulled all of its defenses,’ Henning said.

      The Melton case is even worse for GM, as noted in an August, 2013 case summary from Phil Holladay, a King & Spalding lawyer defending the company. According to Valukas, who viewed the summary, Holladay wrote that the case was a poor candidate for trial.

      Cooper, Holladay wrote, will argue that GM knew about the defective switches since the Cobalt first rolled off the assembly line, yet it has ‘essentially done nothing to correct the problem for the last nine years.’

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        C’mon, don’t hold back, tell us what you REALLY think ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        You can’t possibly expect me to read all of that.

        In the GM cases, many of the fatalities involved GM drivers who themselves were negligent. Since GM was worried about contributory negligence, the company saw that it wasn’t at fault for those deaths since these drivers were. That wasn’t the right way to approach this, but it made sense to view these incidents that way from a legal standpoint.

        I also find it odd that conservatives on this site, i.e. the same group of people who have a hard-on for trial lawyers, are now siding with trial lawyers for pursuing what is obviously a money-motivated effort to make the new GM liable for the old GM’s liabilities, only because the new GM is a deep pocket while the old GM is not. I guess hatred for the bailout (and ignorance of bankruptcy law) trumps ideological consistency.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          The fact that GM authorized a change in tooling, which resulted in a functional design change and didn’t rev the part # remains. Not changing a part number due to material changes that are required by the EPA or a change in plating chemicals or something that doesn’t change the functional design or require PV/DV testing is one thing. But changing a design with the intent to improve robustness, bypassing PPAP and putting the tooling into production is the most flagrant violation of design change control. GM covered this up: because there was a violation in change control, everything was masked from the NHTSA and any other internal department that would have followed through with the correct internal procedures.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            It’s hard to get past this one little stickler of a point, isn’t it?

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Yeah. Pch101 probably doesn’t know the internal workings of an OEM. Just trying to illustrate why this is negligent. The Tier 1 didn’t care as it saved them paperwork, developmental costs (if they’re a full service supplier) and they got the tooling P.O. Tooling P.O.’s for robustness improvements are usually kicked off with a PPAP. I’m not sure how purchasing approved something that didn’t involve design change control unless it was masked as scheduled tool replacement (wear). The Design and Release engineer knew what he was doing. Now why he did it and who approved of it (most purchasing req’s don’t get signed off by the engineer alone) and who coerced this move is what isn’t clear to me. I know he was cognizant of internal fleet issues with the switch. I haven’t seen evidence of him being aware of the on going litigation. I’m sure this info is out there if I wasn’t lazy. I also guarantee you that Delphi’s internal part number rev’d. If I were a supplier, I would want to know the traceability of a part change such as this took place. If it didn’t rev, then Christ on a stick, Delphi probably was in on the internal conversation or is just that sh1tty of a supplier.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “The Design and Release engineer knew what he was doing.”

            Didn’t he and another engineer take the fall (or thrown under the bus) a while back?

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            I do not know of any organization that will fork over money for a tool without some sort of management approval. GM’s change control must be a god damned joke.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            For those of us with squooshy brains and liberal arts degrees, what does “rev the part#” mean?

            Revise?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Yes, you should have changed majors

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Majors, hell… I shoulda been a sloth. You know, go with my strengths.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            … and your Liberal Arts degree ;-)

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            In a good year my tummy lichen are phosphorescent. Chicks dig it.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Just trying to illustrate why this is negligent.”

            Nobody disagrees that it was negligent. The issue is how high this went on the food chain.

            In the case of GM, it doesn’t seem to have gone to the top or very close to it. The management emphasis was on pushing the liability for the crashes onto the drivers.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Oh yes, the “who knew what when” is a common legal maneuver that works quite well. Being legally responsible is often quite different then being civilly responsible, ask OJ

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          “You can’t possibly expect me to read all of that” Well, yes you should. You won’t, but only because you won’t like that it shows you were wrong.

          GM had a flawed part. They eventually fixed it, but they hid the defect from government and consumers, and failed to warn people who’d bought their cars that the defect existed.

          “Takata knew that it had a serious problem and tried to hide it.” So did GM.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    On the up side, these airbag revelations may give a welcome if temporary boon to downsized explosive ordinance experts presently working at Home Depot and Lowes.

    The Global War On Airbags.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    On the ups*de, these airbag revelations may give a welcome if temporary boon to downsized explosive ordinance experts presently working at Home Depot and Lowes.

    The Global War On Airbags

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Give it a rest Jack on the whole media attention business. Not everything is an evil conspiracy. The GM fiasco is still getting significant attention as court cases get filed, but the tide of shocking revelations has slowed for now.

    The Takata thing is new news, so of course it’s more prominent than the GM issues, since that’s currently nothing more than a bunch of dry legal updates.

    I’m starting to get aggravated at the editorial notion here that nearly everything regulators and the media do is in service to domestic automakers. Just a couple of days ago, there was another article complaining about how easy regulators were going on Ford vs. Hyundai MPG claims, and how nothing ever happened to Ford. Never mind that the Hyundai problems were found first and it’s quite possible that regulators haven’t finished punishing Ford yet. (Not to mention that Ford was working through a loophole that makes it’s behavior possibly legal in a technical sense, even if it produced illogical results.)

    Ditto on the Toyota Floor Mat fiasco vs. the GM Ignition recall. The NTSB has puny fining power, so OF COURSE GM’s fines were small. (Just as Toyota’s long-ago fines were.) The more-recent hammering Toyota took was a Justice dept. fine. It took years for that to work through the system… it’s a little premature to conclude that GM will magically escape the fines just a few months after the mess has started.

    In this case, we can expect the NTSB to levy yet another puny fine against Takata, and then the Justice dept. will follow up in 2-3 years with a nasty fine, assuming Takata is still in business to pay it.

  • avatar
    tedward

    I agree this is going to get really ugly. This isn’t a marketing driven overreach like the mpg issues, this is an IED strapped to your steering wheel. There’s a world of difference there in public perception.

    As to the GM thing, I’d agree with the comment above that they have better lawyers. Reading between the lines on that one it seems like GM’s in house counsel just did a better job of not letting the narrative include an overt cover-up.

    • 0 avatar
      wolfinator

      Maybe. I have to say that, subjectively, this Takata thing gets under my skin in a way the GM thing did not.

      For one thing, if I have an ignition that’s getting really wiggly and on it’s way out, there’s a chance I’m going to actually notice. Secondly – although having the ignition cut out is really bad, in my over-confident brain there’s still a chance I’m going to be OK.

      I have driven a (Japanese) car with faulty power steering that went out – it’s really, really, really hard to deal with but I did and both me and the car survived. Driver’s ed was a long time ago – would I remember the “oooo you have no brakes maneuver”? Maybe, maybe not.

      But the point is, the Toyota thing and GM thing have a different psychological effect. I think, “well, if I take the right action I’ll be OK”.

      There’s no such mitigating thing for the Takata airbags. It’s like a land mine in my dash that might go live at any time.

      I suspect the same is true for lot of other people.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Okay.

    What we need is a complete list of all vehicles equipped with “Takata” airbags.

    Dependent upon how long that list is, the bigger the problem is that we have here.

    That’s all for now, kids.

    • 0 avatar
      fozone

      This is the issue.

      For instance —
      I own a 2003 Subaru Legacy. This model is on the recall list. I’ve dutifully entered my VIN into the online form to see if my particular car has been recalled. It hasn’t.

      But what does that mean??

      Subaru wasn’t building that many Legacy’s in 2003, and AFAIK they all came off the SAME assembly line in Indiana.

      I’m having a hard time believing they had a second source of igniters for a car that did such small volume that year. Can anyone who knows how these things are built reassure me? Anyone?? Bueller?

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        What state do you live in?

        • 0 avatar
          fozone

          I’m not sure that’s important —

          The car lived about 1/2 of its life in Florida, but is now located in the Pacific Northwest….. So does that mean it only *might* explode in my face? :-(

          The uncertainty is the biggest issue in my mind– does this or does this not have a Takata ignitor, and if so, why hasn’t it been added to the recall list? Can anyone at Subaru prove to me that this car doesn’t have the defective part? Or do consumers have to take apart the airbags themselves?

          I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) in good faith sell this car, or even let someone else drive it the way things stand.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          As this is a regional recall, where you live is very important. Right now, this recall in the US is only for select ‘humid’ states mostly in the SE. I recommend doing a bit more research beyond plugging in your VIN to a website if you’re that worried.

          Interesting that you said it spent part of its life in Florida which is one of the eligible states. I think I read that the recall is for vehicles ‘currently registered or originally sold’ in those states. Some of these recalls have been out for years. Not sure if you’ve owned it the whole time as it is also possible the recall has already been performed.

          Even if you are/will be included, there are very few parts and they are prioritizing delivery of those few parts to the impacted states.

          Recalls are often complicated things.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            It is regional right now because there isn’t enough mechanics and airbags to do a national recall.

            This could impact tens of millions of cars. The car spending 1/2 its life in the warm damp region of Florida to go to the temperate damp climate of the Pacific Northwest would be of a small comfort if I were the person asking this question.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        Pull the airbag fuse and cinch up that seat belt until you know for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      Wiki says Takata has approximately 20% market share. I believe that means it is 20% worldwide.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        No it doesn’t. Not every Takata airbag is bad. The complexity of what went wrong, where it happened, and when did it happen is complicated.

        But, thanks for assuming 20% of all cars in the world are impacted. Your use of Wiki and lack of understanding the situation has contributed to the further dumbing down of the world.

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          Could this dumbing down effect be confined only to you? I understood his comment to be that Takata holds a 20% market share and that he believes that to be a 20% share of the global market. Not that 20% of all the worlds cars are faulty.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            Nope. He was responding to someone who said this could impact tens of millions of cars. Then added in the ‘wiki’ fact about Takata share of the airbag market as if all Takata airbags are bad without any sense of understanding this situation.

            Recall hysteria!!!

  • avatar
    05lgt

    How do junkyards and parts salvage still work if there’s no source of which parts are in which cars anymore? If I totaled my car, the insurance adjuster wouldn’t spend over a minute determining if my airbag was valuable or Takata-esque crap. Where is the database?

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      The fact that your insurance adjuster wouldn’t spend over a minute trying to determine if your airbag is valuable probably says more about the risks in buying recycled OEM non-deployed airbags than the complications around a recall.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        True enough, but the existence of airbag theft makes it pretty clear someone is buying them. The customer isn’t any more likely to find out what went in as a replacement than I or above posters are to tear open ours to ID them.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          If there is some sort of tooling witness marks on the bolts that indicate the part was replaced, or that the torque doesn’t meet what the plant checked for with DC tooling in plant, you could sue the previous owner who replaced the said part without notifying the insurance adjuster.

          Or maybe a certified mechanic with your insurance company replaced the parts with approved parts from a source. I’m 100% confident that they used OEM parts for the airbag. HAH. I have a feeling we’re going to see some sort of shake up of insurance practices. If Takata is liable, then why wouldn’t mr. used auto dealer be liable for swapping my OEM installed airbag with a junk yard POS?

          Most of these cars in this recall will be totaled out. OEM airbags are super expensive. In the OEM assy plant, air bag dunnage and installation looks like a big deal. The Mexican plant I worked in had the airbags locked up on the line if they weren’t decanted / staged for assembly.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I’m not sure why you think many of the vehicles will be totaled out because of this. This isn’t an insurance claim it is the manufacture of the air bags that will be footing the bill for their replacements. That means that the cost to them will be much less than 1/2 what you would buy a replacement air bag from the dealer. Most air bags are quick and easy to replace. Additionally the value of the vehicle doesn’t really play into it. Takata is responsible for replacing the air bags even if the vehicle has 1/2 million miles and is trashed.

  • avatar

    Am I the only person more troubled by failures of quality control procedures two generations after Demming than I’m bothered by human corruption and coverups?

  • avatar

    When I did my post on Eaton developing the first practical airbags, I found out that the idea was conceived fairly early on but it took decades to develop sensors that worked and inflators that were just powerful enough to fill the bags but not cause injury themselves.

    It’s said that the dose makes the poison. I suppose the same is true of explosives.

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