Takata to Pay Daily Fine Until it Cooperates With NHTSA

Feb 20, 2015 01:00 PM EST | Matt Mercuro

The United States has decided to fine air bag maker Takata $14,000 per day for not cooperating with the government investigation into the company's air bags, according to Reuters.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued two orders in 2014 forcing Takata to provide documentation and other material relating to an investigation into defective Takata air bags.

Takata has failed to fully cooperate with the investigation, Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox said in a statement to Reuters.

"Safety is a shared responsibility and Takata's failure to fully cooperate with our investigation is unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Fox said. "For each day that Takata fails to fully cooperate with our demands, we will hit them with another fine." 

Fines could reach a maximum of $70 million based on U.S. law, according to Bloomberg.

Takata has produced more than 2.4 million pages of documents but has yet to respond to requests for clarification on the agency's specific questions, according to NHTSA.

"We have concluded that Takata is neither being forthcoming with the information that is it legally obligated to supply, nor is it being cooperative in aiding NHTSA's ongoing investigation of a potentially serious safety defect" the agency said in a company statement.

More than 16 million vehicles have been recalled globally since 2008 over defective Takata air bags. The inflators are in cars made by at least 10 automakers.  

NHTSA is trying to figure out whether Takata air bag inflators made from 2000 to 2007 weren't properly sealed. Reports have been received saying that bags are inflating with too much force, thus spraying metal shrapnel at occupants.

The defective air bags have been linked to four deaths and 64 injuries worldwide so far and resulted in several lawsuits.

Though Takata has resisted demands for a recall, several automakers have issued their own call backs to prevent any further fatalities. 

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