SRS-Airbag

Amidst the airbag debacle, Takata Corp president Stefan Stocker is set to step down, with CEO Shigehisa Takada reclaiming the role, Reuters reports.

Stocker, 61, joined Takata from Bosch in February 2013 as an executive officer. He became Takata’s first foreign president four months later, taking over from Takada, 48, the company founder’s grandson.

According to Reuters, Takada will become president and retain his title as CEO and chairman, while Stocker, a Swiss national, will remain on the company board.

Neither has appeared publicly since a June shareholders meeting, but in response to the safety crisis, Takada, Stocker and three other senior staff will take a four-month pay cut – in Takada’s case, 50%.

“This company has done everything wrong and has zero corporate governance, and is one of the worst examples of poor management,” the news agency quoted Atlantis Investment Research, Tokyo president Edwin Merner as saying.

“Putting all the management back to the family sounds so negative. As long as they don’t have new management, this company won’t survive.”

Since 2008, more than 24 million cars have been recalled globally (including about 17 million in the US) over Takata’s faulty airbags, which can detonate with too much force, spraying metal shards at occupants.

At least five deaths have been linked to Takata’s airbags, including one in Malaysia in July that involved a 2003 Honda City. The Malaysian case was the first to involve the driver’s airbag – the others before were to do with the front passenger airbag.

Further reading:
Honda conducting internal testing on airbag defects, CEO Ito “angry” at Takata’s response – report
Takata recalls slowed by replacement airbag inflator shortages, poor response criticised by US lawmakers
Airbag-related recalls in Malaysia: is your car affected?
Honda Malaysia recalling 15,734 cars for driver airbag replacement – 2003-2004 City and 2004 Jazz involved
Honda says Malaysian fatality linked to defective Takata airbag – recalls widened, Civic included
Takata changes composition of airbag propellant, denies defects in original composition – report
Takata to be prosecuted in the US over exploding airbags, owners urged to fix affected cars immediately