February 28, 2017

Takata Pleads Guilty to Airbag Scheme

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Tokyo-based Takata Corporation, one of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive safety-related equipment, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and was sentenced to pay a total of $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from the company’s conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators. Two restitution funds will be established with the payout: a $125 million fund for those physically injured by Takata’s airbags (and who have not already settled with the company); and a $850 million fund for airbag recall and replacement costs by those automakers that were victims of Takata’s fraud scheme. See DOJ Press Release.

According to company admissions, from 2000 through 2015, Takata carried out a scheme to defraud its customers and auto manufacturers by providing false and manipulated airbag inflator test data that made the performance of the company’s airbag inflators appear better than they actually were. Takata executives continued to withhold accurate test information even after the inflators began to experience repeated problems in the field, including ruptures causing injuries and deaths.

In announcing the groundbreaking settlement, a chorus of government enforcers highlighted the gravity of Takata’s transgressions and their commitment to go after companies engaging in similar criminal misconduct. Kenneth A. Blanco, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, stated that “Takata abused the trust of both its customers and the public . . . [and t]oday’s sentence shows that the department will work tirelessly to hold responsible those who engage in this type of criminal conduct.” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan added: “We hope that today’s guilty plea and sentence will send a message to suppliers of consumer safety products that they must put safety ahead of profits.”

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One Response to “Takata Pleads Guilty to Airbag Scheme

  1. The inability to physically punish white, wealthy and corporate (primarily) men, is a part of what is wrong, and must be changed— if Western democracy survives. Going back to Nixon administration and Silverado Saving & Loan crisis through Coke Cola 1 billion dollar racial discrimination suit to Iran Contra, now through Wells Fargo many fraudulent activities, the take away is that members of the white community express criminality, theft, corruption and fear into the personage hood of people of color. And, while it is not starkly obvious this exists, the production of white victimization, white fear and white self denial allows for unarmed black citizens to be killed across this nation, along with enough incidents of whites violating black and other people of color Civil Rights, as massive, flagrant , corrupt acts orchestrated by white men isn’t met by a similar level of police action, but instead watered down through the corporate lens and media too often controlled, influenced and or paid off by the same clique of white males. To whit: when thousands of white priests were exposed for rampant sexual pedaphile abuse across many decades in the US, few could reasonably imagine a scandal of this magnitude not destroying the Black church movement. Yet, whether political, financial or religious; white institutions have continued to skirt accountability to the point 60M+ whites in a political party called the Republicans, now 97% white ignores mores, traditions, morality, human decency, respect, religious tenets and rallies around a criminal Trump, because he expresses their same uninformed, racist and xenophobic world view. We are in this place, where centuries of maintaining the false flag of white supremacy appears to have relegated this nation unable not only to face racism, but corporate corruption, political corruption, religious cowardice and social justice towards its people of color. America, a nation which began with the promise of Democracy, is now never so more clear that a large percentage of its white populace doesn’t give a “damn” about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, unless the sustainable thread of white supremacy reigns. Trump isn’t a mistake in the sense, he just accidentally arose, he is the desired choice of our white neighbors, he represents white America ignorance of the diversity of the world, and their consequences of not facing down their racial demons, if they believe a Trump figure will delay, for another day,— them having to step out of their comfortable perch of white superiority. Trump delays the inevitable date of white Americans not to face people of color, but to face themselves: and their behavior that maintains an oppressive environment, which eventually collapse.