BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry today
announced a settlement with TK Holdings, Inc. – a subsidiary of Takata – over
allegations that they concealed safety issues related to vehicle airbag
The settlement concludes a multistate investigation by 45 state attorneys general who were looking into the company’s failure to timely disclose known safety defects associated with certain airbag inflators using phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate as a propellant. This faulty product has been blamed for the deaths of at least 20 people and hundreds of injuries.
“A malfunction of this magnitude poses a direct threat to the citizens I took an oath to protect,” said General Landry. “So as we did here, my office and I will continue to investigate companies that engage in unsafe and deceptive trade practices and do all we legally can to make our communities safer.”
Beginning in 2008, auto manufacturers issued a number of recalls of vehicles containing certain airbag inflators in response to reports of ruptures upon deployment of the airbag. Since then, more than 50 million airbags have been recalled and more are anticipated to be recalled in the future. And through this multistate investigation, it was determined that the company knew of the safety risk with the defective product due to testing failures. In fact, the company knew about ruptures going back to 2004, but efforts to recall these products were not done until November 2014.
Under the settlement agreement announced today – TK Holdings, Inc. and its successor, Reorganized TK Holdings, will reimburse the multistate for its investigative costs and for the entry of stipulated civil penalty in the amount of $650 million. Additionally, they must follow the below guidelines: