When you’re driving, you hope that all the parts in your vehicle are working correctly. One that you may hope never to see is the air bag, which should only deploy in an accident. Sometimes, these air bags deploy at the wrong time or don’t work correctly in an accident, and that’s when the National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration can step in to make a change or to issue a recall. If you’re affected by it, then your attorney would be able to help you get compensated for your injuries or the damages to your vehicle.
To protect the public from Takata air bag inflators that have been found to be defective, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued the largest civil penalty in its history. The NHTSA has also used its authority to accelerate the recalls and repairs on these vehicles, millions of which have been affected.
Takata has been selling and installing these air bag inflators for many years, and the NHTSA has said that the company refused to acknowledge problems with the build. Now, the delay in recalling these devices means that this may be the largest and potentially the most complex recall that has ever taken place.
The Takata company has been issued a Consent Order, which imposes a civil penalty of $200 million for the defective goods. The company is also required to phase out the inflators that use ammonium nitrate as a propellant; these inflators can rupture and have been suspected in the deaths of seven people and the injuries of over 100.
The same Consent Order also makes a plan for the recall, hoping to bring in and repair or replace the millions of vehicles affected by the issue quickly, so more people can be safe on the roads.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “U.S. DOT imposes largest civil penalty in NHTSA history on Takata for violating Motor Vehicle Safety Act; accelerates recalls to get safe air bags into U.S. vehicles,” Nov. 03, 2015