By on November 14, 2014

Takata Car Seats

Takata’s chairman goes missing amid the company’s airbag recall crisis; the company boosts production of replacement modules at its Mexico plant; and the United States Senate plans to hold hearings regarding the airbag recalls, while also demanding a full reform of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the agency’s role in both Takata’s and General Motors’ respective recalls.

Autoblog reports Takata chairman and CEO Shigesha Takada — whose grandfather founded the company he currently helms — has not been seen since June of this year, giving only a published statement that Takata would work with authorities regarding the defective airbags. Takada won’t be turning up anytime soon, either; the company plans to send COO and president Stefan Stocker to an upcoming analyst briefing in place of the missing chair.

South of the border, Automotive News reports the supplier is adding two new production lines at its Monclova, Mexico facility to help boost supplies of replacement modules. The new lines are expected to go online in January, contributing to the 1.47 million units expected to ship out by February. Takata recently called upon competitors Autoliv and TRW Automotive to help with the production, though that could take months while the suppliers build, test and validate their respective contributions for use by Takata’s client base.

Over in the Beltway, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will hold its first Takata hearing next Thursday, which will include testimony by the supplier, Honda and the NHTSA. The supplier also stated that it had received a subpoena from a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ordering it to produce documents related to the airbag recalls. This is in addition to the NHTSA’s own request for documents, which must be answered by December 1.

Speaking of the NHTSA, Edmunds reports Sens. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Bill Nelson of Florida sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday, urging him to initiate a full reform of the agency:

NHTSA must alter its practices to require automakers to publicly release more information about accidents that could be caused by safety defects, upgrade its own safety databases, and do a better job of enforcing compliance with transparency measures intended to provide early warnings about potentially danger defects to the public.

The senators are calling for an end to regional recalls in light of the Takata action, citing that affected vehicles could move into and out of regions where high humidity — the condition needed for catastrophic failure to occur — is prevalent, as well as for safety regulators to pull potentially dangerous vehicles “off the road,” such as those affected by the respective recalls by Toyota, General Motors and Takata.

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26 Comments on “Takata Chairman In Hiding, Mexican Plant Increasing Airbag Production...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “Takata’s chairman goes missing amid the company’s airbag recall crisis”

    Maybe he was in an accident. It takes a long time to pick all the buckshot out of his face

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Is it morally wrong that I think that it would make for great material for an upcoming South Park episode that Shigesha Takada has purportedly gone “into hiding” as a result of his company’s airbag woes?

    Am I growing more cynical and jaded with increased age (while still watching South Park)?

  • avatar
    ccode81

    Perhaps to deal with 50% inherit tax, large Japanese companies with founder family control tends to have bad culture of chairman / CEO having too much power that shouldn’t be allowed with listed company . They tend to end up with inappropriate mixture of private and company asset, ignorance to IR, no one can say “NO” to management atmosphere.
    This company seems to be a typical case to me. Comments on some Career forum sites does hint it’s not the desirable company to work for.

    In car industry, successful cases avoiding the moral hazard were: Honda didn’t allowed family to be in company, Suzuki took husband from outside, current Toyota CEO given harshest carrier including demotion.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    I say, but that josei in the photo shows signs of emergent boo-tay.

    Curiously refreshing.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    He has caused Takata GREAT SHAME!

    They will send for him.

    He must be punished and judged. Such dishonor.

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall to witness some notorious Japanese Corporal Punishment.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    How do you spell “seppuku”?

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    An episode of Takata-san committing seppuku is on the works.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    In the old days, suicide would have been the honorable way to go!

  • avatar
    stuki

    While the old fashioned aspies amongst us, still struggle to find “preening for TV publicity and enriching lawyers over airbags” as one of the Federal Government’s constitutionally enumerated powers……

  • avatar

    It is Olympus 2. He might be dead by now, if he had sense of honor.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    80 B&B comments on the sexual appeal of Mary Barra and general GM hatred, and one story below Takata, which as this unfolds seems to have used the exact same deny, hid, obfuscate, drag feet tactics as GM, elicits almost no conversation.

    Never mind that just like a gas pedal jammed into a floor mat, the average driver should be able to handle an engine stall with loss of power – which happens every single day for reasons far beyond low torque resistance on an ignition switch.

    You can’t prepare or account for shrapnel blowing into your face from an airbag during an accident. No amount of “mad skilz” and damn I’m better than that driver is going to protect you.

    Oh, and TTAC has the audacity to suggest that the GM story is being ignored.

    Just….wow.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      DeadWeight has the Takata watch and he’s just warming up.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Darn straight!

        I will be akin to a more skeptical & unrelenting (and male) version of Koenig on “Serial” as I shift my focus from GM’s ignition cylinder-gate to the now explosive Takata airbag-gate.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatist

      You’ve got the point here.

      The GM issue can be handled, if by nothing else, removing junk from your keys. In my 45 years of driving, I’ve more than once faced an unexpected engine shutdown.

      But the Takata issue is much more serious. There is NOTHING the driver can do about it.


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