Scientists hired by the auto industry have determined that multiple factors—including moisture and high humidity—can cause some Takata air bags to inflate with too much force and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers.
U.S. auto safety regulators fined Japan’s Takata Corp. $70 million Tuesday for concealing evidence for years that its air bags are prone to explode with grisly consequences—a defect linked to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide.
A dispute between US safety regulators and air bag maker Takata Corp. escalated Wednesday when the government threatened fines and legal action if the company fails to admit that driver’s air bag inflators are defective and to agree to a nationwide recall.
The global quality chief of Takata Corp. apologized and an official from Honda acknowledged the automaker broke a disclosure law as a Senate committee put the spotlight on a growing problem with exploding air bags.
U.S. safety regulators are demanding that automakers and Takata Corp. expand nationwide a recall of vehicles with certain driver’s side air bags equipped with inflators that can erupt and send metal fragments into the passenger compartment.