Takata airbags have been a ticking time bomb and we are only now finding out they have been that way for longer than first suspected.
What we know for certain is, there have been four deaths and more than 30 injuries linked to the defective airbags manufactured by the Japanese airbag manufacturer, Takata.
We also now have reports that Takata has previously known about the defective air bags and actually conducted secret tests on its air bags to determine what was causing metal shards to propel through and injure vehicle occupants; long before the current problems arose in public view.
We also know that Takata destroyed evidence of the tests and the results with the exception of possibly this video:
Now, a criminal inquiry has been called for by three concerned U.S. senators due to allegations that former Takata employees performed testing of the airbags, recognized the defect, and had their findings swept under the rug by Takata.
Airbags are specifically made to reduce injuries, not enhance them. Consumers have come to rely on availability and proper functioning of airbags when weighing their purchase of a motor vehicle. The airbag manufacturers know this and automobile manufacturers advertise the airbags in their vehicles as enticements of the vehicle safety. That’s what makes this latest development all the more sinister.
If the potential to be “shot” with metal debris from an airbag exists and the airbag manufacturer has known about this; It seems to be the classic case of putting profits before safety and lives of consumers.
If your vehicle has been the subject of a recall, find out here, the National Highway and Transportation Safety website.