Root Cause of Recalls & Remedies
The NY Times reports ahead of the June 2, 2015 House Hearing on Takata airbag recalls. “Those results contributed to Takata’s decision to stop manufacturing inflaters with the batwing-shaped propellant, the company said. But Takata maintains that it still has not pinned down a definitive root cause of the ruptures.
The problems with the airbags date to almost 15 years ago when drivers began lodging complaints about them with federal regulators. In November, The Times reported that Takata had ordered tests on the airbags in 2004 and found signs of defects, but did not convey the results to the regulators. Takata has disputed that report.
The first recall for the airbag issue came in November 2008 when Honda recalled 4,205 vehicles, a small number, with the Takata products. The company recalled an additional 510,000 cars six months later after a teenager was killed by an exploding airbag.
Those two recalls prompted regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open an investigation in 2009 into the two companies’ handling of the defect. Six months later, it closed the investigation without requiring that Takata turn over all of the documents that had been requested.
In the document officially closing the inquiry, the agency wrote that there was “insufficient information to suggest that Honda failed to make timely defect decisions on information it was provided….
“What concerns me today are multiyear safety investigations where we can identify a problem but a solution is nowhere in sight; where the preferred approaches are Band-Aids instead of an effective cure,” said Representative Fred Upton, the Republican from Michigan who is chairman of the committee.” See
As for the root cause of failures to protect the public in corporations and government regulatory agencies, consider money.
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10
Whether it be relentless cost cutting demands by OEMs or the corruption of government regulatory policy the root cause is money.
Whether it be airbags exploding dangerously, or airbags not deploying when needed examination will find money at the root of corporate and governmental failures to protect. See report of June 2014 at
We can and must do better than this at protecting people before profits.