Takata is a Japanese company that makes the airbags used in some of the most popular brands of cars that are sold in the United States, including Honda and Toyota. Yet faulty airbags made by Takata have been blamed in several deaths recently, with more to come once investigators start looking for the correct signs.
How have Honda and Toyota responded to this potentially deadly crisis? You would think that they would issue massive recalls advising all their customers of the deadly danger that they face if there’s an event that results in the airbag’s deployment, right? Wrong. Honda won’t issue any warning or recall until it has enough parts to fix the cars immediately. So, for the cost of a simple part and lining up alternate transportation that, hopefully, isn’t a deathtrap, Honda has decided to play Russian Roulette with the lives of its customers. Not to be left out, but Toyota is doing the same thing.
What will it take to get Takata to accept responsibility for the lives that it’s taking through it’s defective manufacturing? What will it take to get companies like Honda and Toyota to warn the public of the potential danger and to take responsibility for the defective production by its vendors? Government action? That won’t do anything. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued warnings and urged the owners of more than 5 million vehicles to “act immediately” to get their airbags fixed. But, will that get the auto companies to change the way they do business?
The fact is, the ONLY time that the auto manufacturers do anything to protect the safety of the public is when they’re forced to do so as a result of information that’s disclosed in litigation. This is what finally exposed General Motors for the deaths they caused over the failure to replace a simple part that would have prevented the problems caused by their defective ignition switches. Sadly, it will take litigation to expose the harm caused by Honda and Toyota too. What did they know, when did they know it and, to the point, how little would it have taken for them to have prevented the loss of life?