Airbag maker Takata fined for recalls

BBC News

Japanese firm Takata has been fined $200m (£130m) by US regulators for the way it handled recalls of exploding airbags.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Takata failed to provide information about the dangerous airbags.

About 23.4 million Takata airbag inflators have been recalled in the US.

The airbags have been linked to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries around the world.

It was found they could inflate with excessive force, and spray shrapnel at drivers and passengers.

The NHTSA said that because of Takata’s cooperation it would initially only have to pay $70m. Additional fines could be added if the regulator finds any further violations.

The fine is the largest ever issued by the NHTSA.

The regulator said Takata had been told to prioritise the recall “so the greatest safety risks are addressed first”.

“For years, Takata has built and sold defective products, refused to acknowledge the defect, and failed to provide full information to NHTSA, its customers, or the public,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The result of that delay and denial has harmed scores of consumers and caused the largest, most complex safety recall in history.”

In addition to the fine, the NHTSA will place an independent monitor at Takata for the next five years.