The U.S. Department of Transportation announced a record civil penalty against Takata for its handling of defective airbags. Jeanne Yurman reports.
Japanese auto parts maker Takata and the U.S. Department of Transportation have reached a settlement in a probe related to defective air bags. At $200 million, the federal government has imposed the largest civil penalty in the history for violating the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. The government says Takata refused to acknowledge the defective product it sold and did not provide full information to regulators or the public. The company will pay $70 million in cash to regulators and car owners for air-bag inflators that exploded with too much force, spraying shrapnel inside vehicles. It is liable for an additional $130 million if it fails to meet terms of the settlement or if additional violations of the Safety Act are found. Millions of cars carrying Takata-made parts have been recalled around the world by auto makers. Regulators say the defective airbags are believed to have contributed to seven deaths and nearly 100 injuries in the United States.