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Takata Clears Exit from Bankruptcy With Airbag Settlement

Takata Corp.’s U.S. unit has reached a settlement with current and future airbag victims, creditors, and automakers that will clear a path out of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which was brought on last year amid the spiraling scope and costs of its airbag recall. Saddled by recall costs and faced with numerous airbag injury and death claims, Takata was pushed to sell its viable operations to Key Safety Systems, a U.S.-based Chinese company, for $1.6 billion. The proceeds of the sale will help fund restitution claims filed by automakers and injury and death claims filed by people injured by defective ... Read More

Takata Airbag Explosion Risk: Ford, Mazda Pickups Under Do-Not-Drive Warning

Ford Motor Co. has added 33,428 additional Ranger pickup trucks in the U.S. to its list of vehicles “that are an immediate risk to safety” because their defective Takata airbag inflators may explode and blast metal pieces at vehicle occupants with deadly force. In a related recall, Mazda has recalled an additional 1,955 Mazda B-Series pickup trucks from the 2006 model year. Ford, which made the B-Series for Mazda, said test results showed that the recalled trucks had Takata airbag inflators that ruptured or recorded high internal pressure readings. “Affected owners are urged not to drive these vehicles and to ... Read More

Air Force Officer Injured by Takata Airbag Raises Recall Awareness

A U.S. Air Force officer who still suffers from severe facial injuries sustained when the Takata airbag inside her 2002 Honda Civic exploded in September 2013 urges Honda drivers to get the defective airbags replaced without delay. Stephanie Erdman, now 32, was driving her Honda Civic in Pensacola when another driver pulled out in front of her, triggering the airbags. While the passenger-side airbag deployed properly, the driver-side airbag in front of her exploded, blasting pieces of sharp metal into her face like a pipe bomb. “I feel like there needs to be a real sense of urgency on the ... Read More

Honda Confirms Takata Airbag Kills Sixth Person in Malaysia

A defective Takata airbag has been blamed for the death of another driver in Malaysia, Honda Malaysia said in a statement Jan. 30. The latest fatality brings the Takata airbag death toll in the Southeast Asian nation to six and the global toll to 22. Honda said the driver-side Takata airbag inflator ruptured inside a 2004 Honda City vehicle. The passenger-side airbag also deployed in the collision and functioned properly. The crash occurred on New Year’s Day in the central part of Sengalor state, the Japanese automaker said. All of the Takata deaths in Malaysia have occurred in 2003-2009 Honda ... Read More

Mazda Expands Takata Airbag Recall For B-Series Pickups

Mazda is re-recalling certain B-series pickup trucks to fix Takata airbags after identical Takata airbags in Ford Rangers killed two U.S. men in separate incidents. The Hiroshima-based Japanese automaker says the latest recall affects about 160 B-Series pickup trucks. All of the vehicles were previously recalled to repair the driver-side Takata airbags; now the company says it’s urgent to replace the passenger-side front airbags in certain vehicles as well. Takata airbag inflators are made with a highly volatile ammonium nitrate propellant that can cause the devices to deploy with deadly force in a collision. The airbag inflator is especially prone ... Read More

Florida Woman Killed By Takata Airbag Should Have Survived Crash

A Takata airbag that deployed with lethal force killed a Florida woman in a July 19 collision that she should have survived, the Florida Highway Patrol said in a report released Jan. 17 and obtained by the Associated Press. Nichol Barker, 34, of Holiday, Florida, died July 19 when her 2002 Honda Accord collided with a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am driven by a 19-year-old male who had made a left turn in front of Ms. Barker’s vehicle. Ms. Barker was driving about 30 mph when her Honda Accord struck the Trans Am. Her 10-year-old son, 5-year-old daughter, and mother were ... Read More

Second Takata Airbag Death In Ford Ranger Prompts Urgent Recall

A Takata airbag that exploded inside a Ford Ranger pickup truck in West Virginia over the summer, killing its driver, has prompted an urgent recall by Ford Motor Co. Ford said the recall covers about 3,000 Ranger pickup trucks and urges owners not to drive the vehicles until the airbag units are repaired. This round of Takata airbag recalls is relatively small considering the recall affects about 42 million U.S. vehicles, but Ford believes the airbags in certain 2006 Rangers are particularly volatile and prone to explode with deadly force. Fifty-six-year-old Steve Mollohan, who lived in the Hedgesville, West Virginia ... Read More

Takata Airbag Recall Expanded By 3.3 Million U.S. Vehicles

Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata is adding 3.3 million airbag inflators to its already mammoth recall over concerns the devices are prone to explode and blast metal fragments at vehicle occupants. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does not specify what vehicles are affected by the latest Takata airbag recall, owners can see if their vehicle is subject to the recall by entering the 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN) into the NHTSA’s recall portal. According to Consumer Reports, this latest Takata airbag recall actually encompasses three separate recalls affecting vehicles made in a specific model year by particular automakers and ... Read More

Takata Airbag Class Settlements Get Final Approval

A $741-million settlement resolving consumer class actions against BMW, Mazda, Subaru, and Toyota for dangerously defective Takata airbag the automakers used in their vehicles has been granted final approval. U.S. District Court Judge Federico A. Moreno in Florida approved the settlements on Nov. 1. The four automakers are the first to exit sweeping multidistrict litigation (MDL) over consumer economic-loss claims stemming from Takata airbags, which prompted the largest auto safety recall in U.S. history. The settlements were initially announced in May, with Toyota agreeing to pay $278.5 million. BMW of North America agreed to pay $131 million to resolve the ... Read More

Kobe Steel Metals Scandal Impacts Global Manufacturers

Kobe Steel, one of Japan’s largest metal manufacturers, admitted this week that it had falsified quality and durability data for at least 20,000 tons of steel it sold to manufacturers, which used the potentially inferior metals in cars, airplanes, rockets, high-speed trains, defense equipment and other products. “The credibility of Kobe Steel has plunged to zero,” Kobe’s chief executive, Hiroya Kawasaki, said after the company admitted first to falsifying data about the strength and durability of its aluminum and copper products and then to falsifying data about its iron ore powder. The apparent fraud came to light after the Central ... Read More