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Air bag probe intensifies; criminal investigation demanded

Although you shouldn’t have to be thinking about whether your vehicle’s air bags are safe and effective as you tool about in your passenger car or truck, that is precisely the concern for millions of motorists across the country presently.

And those vehicle owners are becoming increasingly familiar with the name Takata.

The Japan-based Takata Corporation makes air bags on a massive scale, supplying them to automobile manufactures that install them in vehicles across the globe.

Here’s the concern related to many millions of those items, as a recent media report notes: They could essentially explode when deployed, sending shrapnel into the bodies of drivers and passengers.

In fact, the air bags have already been linked to several motor vehicle fatalities, and global recalls reportedly could affect as many as 17 million vehicles going forward.

We referenced the massive recall currently underway in a November 4 blog post discussing this dire product liability concern. We provide our readers in Illinois and elsewhere an update today, given material developments that have recently occurred.

Most notable among them, perhaps, is an emerging story that Takata engaged in secret air bag testing more than a decade ago, when, reportedly, it grew concerned following an air bag-related crash in the United States.

The New York Times states that the manufacturer destroyed test results and failed to follow through with regulators.

That has drawn the ire of both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and federal legislators, who are calling for an immediate mandatory recall of all affected vehicles nationwide and a criminal investigation.

As the probe continues, the NHTSA vows to “leave no stone unturned” in its evidence review.

Source: USA TODAY, “Senators want Takata criminal probe, see long cover-up,” James Healey, Nov. 7, 2014

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