Airbag maker Takata fined for recalls

Takata sign Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Takata air bag recall in the US is the biggest safety recall in its history

Japanese firm Takata has been fined up to $200m (£130m) by US regulators for the way it handled recalls of exploding airbags.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Takata failed to provide information about the dangerous airbags.

Takata will initially have to pay $70m, but the fine could reach $200m if the regulator finds any further violations.

About 23.4 million Takata airbag inflators have been recalled in the US.

Carmaker Honda also announced that it would no longer use Takata inflators in front airbags in its new vehicles.

The auto giant is Takata's biggest airbag customer and has recalled 6.3 million US cars and replaced inflators on more than 40% of them.

More fines could come

Takata's airbags have been linked to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries around the world.

It was found they could inflate with excessive force, and spray shrapnel at drivers and passengers.

The fine is the largest ever issued by the NHTSA.

The regulator said Takata had been told to prioritise the recall "so the greatest safety risks are addressed first".

"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," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

"The result of that delay and denial has harmed scores of consumers and caused the largest, most complex safety recall in history."

In addition to the fine, the NHTSA will place an independent monitor at Takata for the next five years.

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