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Takata hit with $200M fine in airbag recall

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Takata received a $200 million fine, the largest civil penalty of its kind, for its slow response to recall exploding airbags. (WLS)

An ABC7 I-Team Report
Takata received a $200 million fine, the largest civil penalty of its kind, for its slow response to recall exploding airbags. The I-Team is monitoring the action taken against the supplier of more than 23 million recalled airbags.

Seven deaths and 100 injuries are blamed on recalled Takata airbags, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The civil penalty accused Takata of violating the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

"For years Takata has built and sold defective inflators. It refused to acknowledge that they were defective. It provided incomplete and inaccurate and misleading information to NHTSA," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox said.

Takata has to pay $70 million in cash with an additional $130 million if Takata fails to meet commitments or if additional violations are discovered.

"DOT should not have to place itself s in the middle of a massive safety recall; record setting civil penalties are not something to brag about; and American drivers should not have to worry that a device designed to save their life might actually take it," Foxx said.

As part of the agreement, Takata must phase out the manufacture and sale of inflators that use phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant, which is believed to be a factor in explosive ruptures.

Also Tuesday, the DOT and NHTSA said they are attempting to speed up the recall process for 19 million vehicles with a plan to have airbags identified as the most dangerous replaced by March of next year.

"No one deserves to have an exploding airbag installed in their vehicle; a safety recall is a burden," Mark Rosekind, Ph.D., NHTSA administrator, said.

Takata acknowleged the agreement through a statement Tuesday afternoon. The company also said it wants to be part of the safety solution and will cooperate with NHTSA and automakers.

Find out what cars are part of the Takata airbag recall by entering VINs at http://www.safercar.gov/.

Related Topics:
automotiveauto recallconsumerauto industryrecallI-Team
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