Takata Engineers Altered Airbag Testing Data for 10 Years, Whistleblowers Were Ignored

According to a stack of documents produced by Takata during litigation, Japanese engineers were doctoring testing data for the better part of 10 years. To put it plainly and simply, everything is wrong with this picture. Altering airbag testing data by minimizing results of malfunctions is not excusable.
Mercedes-Benz airbags 1 photo
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
A report published by the WSJ gives new light to the worldwide airbag problem Takata finds itself involved in. Since the early '00s, American employees of the Japanese corporation raised concerns about deceitful testing reports of airbag inflators that, as we all know by now, are prone to seriously injure or even kill people instead of saving their lives in a crash situation.

No less than 8 men and women have died and more than 100 were injured by Takata-designed airbags. This begs the question why in the name of all things holy did Takata turn a blind eye to these internal warnings from its American employees? It may not come as a surprise, but the answer is simple: profit margin.

Employees blew the whistle on altered test data delivered to Honda, the manufacturer that is most affected by the Takata airbag scandal. However, their warnings were ignored despite huge discrepancies between factual and forged data.

To make matters worse, a Takata spokesperson has declared for The New York Times that the company he represents doesn’t dispute the claims that it had manipulated test data. We suggest to read between the lines to understand why Takata is afraid of providing an affirmative answer to the media.

Altering data beyond factual bounds at this level constitutes fraud. The Japanese engineers and bigwigs should know that better because criminal investigations by the Justice Department and individual lawsuits await the airbag supplier.

Other than the $70 million fine from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an additional $130 million could be levied if Takata fails to follow the terms of the consent order. We wager $10 that the Japanese corporation will bite the dust in a couple of years or so.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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