Multiple reports have claimed that Takata, the Japanese auto marts maker, has, along with three former employees, been officially charged with crimes.
According to the official reports, Takata Corp. was charged with a count of wire fraud while three former employees of the company were charged with six counts of conspiracy and wire fraud. These employees are being accused of concealing deadly defects associated with air bag inflators produced by the company.
Since the Takata air bags come with explosive ammonium nitrate, which is used to fill air bags in a crash, these air bag inflators started showing signs of issues among consumers in the late 2000s. Despite the reports of inflators exploding, some executives allegedly decided to conceal information they knew due to internal tests from the public. According to U.S. officials overseeing this case, the trio of employees were aware of the issues as early as 2000. Prosecutors claim they falsified and altered these reports, with the hopes that consumers wouldn’t be made aware of the issues.
So far, about 69 million inflators were known to be potentially deadly. About 42 million cars were fitted with the faulty devices. So far, at least 16 people died globally in incidents involving the air bags while at least 180 were injured under similar circumstances.
Takata should be paying about $1 billion for the tens of millions of defective air bags. Unfortunately for consumers, not all of the millions of cars impacted in America have been repaired.
Due to the massive costs associated with the recall as well as the legal battle underway, the company may end up filing for bankruptcy.
Takata has allegedly agreed to have all impacted air bag inflators recalled by the end of 2018. The major campaign, which is one of the largest in U.S. history, has impacted vehicles going back to the 2000 year.
The indictments come as Takata faces overwhelming recall and legal costs
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