NYT: Takata Buried The Negative Results Of Secret In-House Testing

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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  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Nov 07, 2014

    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?

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Nov 07, 2014

    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.

  • Bryan Raab Davis I briefly dated an Australian fellow who was mad for Aspires; one of his better characteristics, if I’m honest.
  • ToolGuy Check out Ferrari's market cap:https://companiesmarketcap.com/automakers/largest-automakers-by-market-cap/
  • ToolGuy • Not sure who you get when you call the "Company phone" number listed on the recall report, but confident that it ISN'T Ferrari (someone either screwed up or made a conscious exception; recall might need a recall; where is my excellence in government that all of you are funding?).• 99% of them are fine.• On later models, additionally, a message will also appear on the vehicle’s dashboard that reads as follows: “Brake fluid level low, Go to dealer slowly”. That right there is classic.• Anyway, this is what happens when you build to a price point... (ba dum tsh!)
  • Art Vandelay And what a giant pile of sh!t ths new format is. Great job guys, way to run off the last of the die hards.
  • Theflyersfan If you ever want a review on a 2022 Mazda MX-5 GT RF, I'll be more than happy to type up a few thousand words and add in some great pictures in front of Churchill Downs for y'all!In a nutshell, I agree with this review. I didn't have a chance to try the Recaro seats because the only test drive available was with another GT that someone backed out in buying so it was being used as a demo. But from what I was told, if you're larger than a 38 waist or taller than 5'10", it gets tight. But with the standard seats, and I'm 5'10" and maybe 20 pounds from the 38 waist, I fit fine. Now getting in and out with the roof up after shoulder surgery (especially leaving the surgery center with most of the right arm under a nerve block) is the total opposite of graceful!!! The look on the nurse's face when the MX-5 pulled up and I'm partially wrapped up like a mummy was priceless.I've had mine since the middle of April and have already put 6,700 miles on it, including round trips from Louisville to Chicago and the Philadelphia suburbs. Averaged 38-39 mpg at a steady 75 mph, and it wasn't a torture chamber. The metal top helped a lot. The standard seats are a bit thin on padding, and there was a bit of squirming by around hour 8 on the Philly drive, but it's possible. But even though this design was released in 2015, I still get compliments from total strangers at stoplights, carwashes, gas stations, restaurants, etc. The Soul Red Metallic paint just makes the car pop. I wish it was available with the Terra Cotta leather (the gray above is available with it), and that it didn't have the standard all in black, because it gets thermonuclear in there with the top down and the sun beating on you, but a minor quibble. But it's just fun. Pure driving fun. The best stick shift in any car today. Solid brakes, excellent handling, a sane amount of power to where you aren't going to get into anything reckless and stupid. After a 12+ hour day at work, there's nothing better than dropping the top and driving the 20 minutes home with the better than I thought it would be Bose stereo playing Moby into my ears through the headrest speakers. Mazda has already announced there will be an NE model so I can't wait for that. It'll be interesting how they will keep the weight down with the expected changes to eke more MPG out of what is already an efficient car.
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