Takata issued record USD$200 million fine by NHTSA; Honda ditches automotive airbag producer


The US Department of Transport’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a massive USD$200 million fine to Takata Corp for defective airbag inflators that violated the country’s Motor Vehicle Safety Act. The fine is the largest ever issued in the NHTSA’s history, and is just one of the requirements of the Consent Order issued by the safety regulators to Takata.

Within the Consent Order, the USD$200 million fine will be comprised of two parts – USD$70 million that is payable in cash, plus an additional USD$130 million that would be required to be paid if Takata is unable to meet its obligations. Takata would also be mandated to pay the larger proportion of the fine if additional violations of the Safety Act are uncovered.

In an official statement, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “for years, Takata has built and sold defective products, refused to acknowledge the defect, and failed to provide full information to NHTSA, its customers, or the public. The result of that delay and denial has harmed scores of consumers and caused the largest, most complex safety recall in history. Today’s actions represent aggressive use of NHTSA’s authority to clean up these problems and protect public safety.”

As part of NHTSA’s Consent Order to Takata, the company has admitted that it was aware of a defect but failed to issue a timely recall. The NHTSA also issued findings that Takata provided it with selective, incomplete, or inaccurate data dating back to at least 2009. Investigations revealed that Takata also provided its customers with selective, incomplete, or inaccurate data.

Honda airbag

The Consent Order also requires the company to phase out the production and sale of inflators that use phase-stabilised ammonium nitrate propellant. Takata is also required to schedule a recall for all Takata ammonium nitrate inflators currently installed in vehicles, unless the company can prove they are safe, or can verify why its inflators are prone to rupture.

As a recap, ammonium nitrate is used in the composition of Takata’s airbag propellant. When subjected to moisture and heat, the propellant can be rendered unstable, and can cause the airbag inflators to explode with excessive force, spraying metal shrapnel inside the car. Several cases, some involving death, resulted in worldwide recalls being issued, including in Malaysia.

Other airbag producers like TRW and Autoliv utilise guanidine nitrate as an alternative explosive compound to ammonium nitrate when producing the airbag propellant. The chemical is considered to be less vulnerable to heat and moisture compared to ammonium nitrate. Takata has already begun producing alternative propellants using guanidine nitrate within the last two years.


The order also requires Takata to be placed under strict observation by an independent monitor selected by the NHTSA for the next five years. The monitor will assess, track, and report the company’s compliance with the phase-out schedule and other requirements of the Consent Order, and to oversee the Coordinated Remedy Program.

“Today, we are holding Takata responsible for its failures, and we are taking strong action to protect the traveling public. We are accelerating Takata recalls to get safe air bags into American vehicles more quickly, ensuring that consumers at the greatest risk are protected, and addressing the long-term risk of Takata’s use of a suspect propellant,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Honda has announced that it would no longer use airbag inflators made by Takata. The no-confidence move from Takata’s largest customer comes directly after Takata received the aforementioned Consent Order from the NHTSA. Reuters reports that Toyota is currently looking for alternatives to Takata, including Autoliv and Nippon Kayaku Co.

Looking to sell your car? Sell it with Carro.

Certified Pre-Owned - 1 Year Warranty

10% discount when you renew your car insurance

Compare prices between different insurer providers and use the promo code 'PAULTAN10' when you make your payment to save the most on your car insurance renewal compared to other competing services.

Car Insurance

Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.



  • Less thing to worry if car don’t have airbag.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
    • Same L0rrrr on Nov 04, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      That’s why most Proton on the road: Wira, Iswara, Waja, Saga, Satria, Juara, Tiara etc have 0 airbag.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
      • Sam "Hailat" Loo on Nov 04, 2015 at 4:47 pm

        Lexus has the most airbags in their cars… Not safe lar…!!! How ar…? Die lor…!!! RV sure gonna drop…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
      • Topkek on Nov 04, 2015 at 6:00 pm

        Vios even new got no VSC you tak bash pulak. Topkek.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
    • I dont care my car got irbag or not janji I go back home, I got my 4 wives I can have fun with

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12
      • Dun worry. If the Takata airbags in your fengtau godcar wun kill you, your fire-causing power windows will.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  • Albert on Nov 04, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    OMG….Takata is using ammonium nitrate…the same substance used in BLASTING GRANITE QUARRY rocks.
    We run for our lives,at least 800 metres as a safe buffer zone when the blaster gives the signal to set off the blast.
    No wonder,our Malaysian woman got killed when the airbag was deployed.
    Its shambolic Honda and Toyota and other auto giants allowed such products to be installed in their cars.
    What about Perodua and Proton ?What kind of airbags do they install in their cars?C4,ammonium nitrate…or what?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7
    • wayang kulit on Nov 04, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      Airbags should be banned from all cars. Studies have shown that airbag KILLS more than it saves. If you do not die from the airbag then most likely you will suffer injuries from it. Airbags are part of a corporate conspiracy to suck money from automakers for a product that is useless and not required.
      Cars would be so much cheaper without said airbags. Now with cars having 6 or more airbags, imagine having that many grenades pointing at you inside the car. Even if you survive an accident you end up being sprayed by shrapnel and end up in a bloody mess.
      Protect yourself and loved ones from airbags. Say no to airbags!!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11
      • Mob Barley Weed on Nov 04, 2015 at 10:40 pm

        Here you have it folks! Wayang and Albert! The winners of the 2015 Darwin awards! Seriously, who could be dumber than these two. Did someone inject ammonium nitrate into their brains?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • Bodoh ke bangang ni orang. Dah cakap P1 pakai Autoliv. P2 pula pakai nuclear bom. Ini budak darjah 1 pun tau.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

Add a comment