Honda Motor Company indicated it will no longer use airbags made by its long time Japanese supplier, Takata. The automobile company stated, “Honda expects its suppliers to act with integrity at all times and we are deeply troubled by this apparent behavior by one of our suppliers.” Honda also alleges that Takata misrepresented and manipulated test data to conceal defective airbag inflators. New Honda automobile models currently under development will not use any of the Japanese auto supplier’s airbags or any other of its products in the future.
U.S. automotive safety regulators said in early November that Takata has agreed to accept penalties for the faulty airbags resulting in at least eight deaths and injuries to 98 people. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will fine Takata at least $70 million and potentially increase the amount to $200 million should the company not comply with the recall terms. These terms include removal of ammonium nitrate, the chemical used to propel the airbags. This propellant is suspected by Federal Investigators to be the cause of the defective products. “We deeply regret the circumstances that lead to this,” Takata CEO Shigehisa Takada said. “This settlement is an important step forward for Takata that will enable us to focus on rebuilding trust of automakers, regulators, and the driving public.”
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said “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.”