Takata First Investigated Reports Of Exploding Air Bags In 2003

Airbag-maker Takata still will not issue a nationwide recall of all of its exploding, shrapnel-hurling car airbags, but the company has admitted (ahead of a Congressional investigation) that it has known about the issue and investigated possible problems with the airbag inflator since 2003.

A month ago, the New York Times shared that Takata employees had been performing secret tests of potentially problematic airbags back in 2004. The company’s official revelation that it has been working on this problem for more than a decade comes before Congressional hearings on the airbag issue start again today.

Reuters reports that company claims that the 2003 airbag issue, an airbag explosion in a BMW in Switzerland, was not related to the better-known defect that has now been directly linked to three motorist deaths. While engineers at a Takata facility in Michigan performed tests and allegedly sought a solution in case a recall really occurred, officials in the company’s home country of Japan were not aware of possible problems with airbags, or of the tests occurring in the United States.

Exclusive: Takata investigated defective air bag inflator as early as 2003 [Reuters]

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