NHTSA investigation of faulty Takata airbag inflators surveyed

The Legal Examiner (12/5, Cohn) surveys the history of the NHTSA investigation into Takata-made airbag inflators, noting that NHTSA claims Takata “was aware of problems with its air bags as far back as 2004.” NHTSA further states that “in round numbers, nearly 1 in 10 driver inflator ruptures has resulted in death.”

Bloomberg News (12/6, Hagiwara, Trudell, 3.4M) reports that Takata Corp. “has lost the confidence of one of its biggest former shareholders, which said the company cut off access to management and downplayed risks as its air bags spurred a record auto-safety recall.” Sawakami Asset Management, “whose $2.6 billion stock fund beat the benchmark Topix index 12 of the past 15 years, sold the last of its Takata shares in early October,” before the NHTSA’s unprecedented crackdown on the company, the article reports. “We could not help feeling the management is not trustworthy,” fund manager Takahiro Kusakari said in an interview. “We felt Takata had a ‘we are needed and our products are needed, so the business will come back and the situation won’t be that bad’ kind of attitude, downplaying the issue,” he added.

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