WASHINGTON, DC –(ENEWSPF)—November 3, 2015. Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reached a consent order with Takata over the Japanese part supplier’s defective airbags that have caused at least eight deaths and at least 100 serious injuries. The settlement includes the largest-ever fine levied by NHTSA – $200 million. It also prohibits Takata from entering into any new contracts after Oct. 31 to build airbag inflators with ammonium nitrate and a desiccant – the chemical components suspected to cause the violent airbag explosions that necessitated the recalls. Rep. Schakowsky issued the following statement in response:
“I am deeply disappointed by the consent agreement reached today. I appreciate NHTSA’s efforts to levy as heavy a penalty as possible under existing law, but with almost 20 million vehicles subject to this recall, the fine is woefully inadequate. Companies will continue to prioritize profits over safety as long as our laws enable major safety failures to be treated with a financial slap on the wrist.
“In order to make the substantial changes needed to enhance consumer safety and oversight of the auto industry, we must enact H.R. 1181, the Vehicle Safety Improvement Act, without delay. That legislation, which I introduced with Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone and other members, would improve auto safety reporting, oversight, and accountability – including by eliminating maximum penalties for companies that endanger driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety. I will continue to work to get it signed into law.”