The Strategist

Hawaii sues Ford, Nissan,Toyota

05/25/2017 - 12:54

Authorities of the US state of Hawaii sued automakers Ford, Nissan and Toyota defected airbags Takata in their cars. This was stated by Steve Levins, the state's director of consumer protection.

Steve Levins believes that the automakers have chosen these airbags because of their cheapness, despite the generally available information that ammonium nitrate is an unstable and unpredictable chemical and mainly used to manufacture rockets.

"This allowed them to save a few dollars so that the automakers later sold this dangerous product to consumers here in Hawaii", said Levins. 

The state authorities, according to the lawsuit, require Takata to compensate $ 10 thousand for each case of installation of defective airbags in cars sold in the territory of Hawaii. The exact number of problem cars purchased by Hawaiian residents is unknown, however, according to Levins' estimates, it can exceed 30,000 cars.

Japanese Takata found itself in the center of the scandal in 2014. The US authorities then stated that a pump failure in Takata airbags resulted in nearly explosive deployment  and a rain of pieces of plastic and metal flying in the car. Such incidents killed at least 16 people and injured more than 180 in the world. At least 11 deaths occurred in the United States. In total, the failure in Takata airbags resulted in more than 100 million cars withdrawn throughout the world.

Earlier this year, BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota issued a joint statement, which sets out some details of an amicable agreement with the airbags’ manufacturer. Takata pledged to pay four companies more than half a billion dollars in compensation for the losses that the manufacturers suffered because of the substandard airbags.

The automakers said they would direct these funds to create a more comfortable environment for the affected customers and maximize the operational resolution of the situation. In particular, they are going to launch a propaganda campaign to inform about the need to replace potentially dangerous airbags. In addition, manufacturers are going to provide swap cars to customers whose cars are subject to recall for the time of repair. Finally, the funds received will make it possible to accelerate the very process of repairing cars – there are tens of millions cars equipped with Takata airbags around the world.

According to some information, these airbags are installed on 42 million vehicles only in the US, and they are all subject to recall. The erroneous algorithm for triggering the airbags has already led to 16 deaths and nearly two hundred injuries. Takata itself admitted its responsibility and agreed to pay about a billion dollars as a fine, not including the necessary compensation. It is expected that such amounts of sanctions may lead to the manufacturer’s bankruptcy.


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