Since 2014, Klobuchar has urged Takata to address the threat that defective air bags pose to public safety and to ensure all vehicles with defective components are removed from the road
Last year, after calls from Klobuchar, Takata further expanded its national recall of defective air bags linked to a string of horrific injuries and deaths across the country.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Amy Klobuchar released the following statement on reports of a $1 billion settlement of Takata Corp. with the U.S. Department of Justice for criminal misconduct related to the handling of its defective air bags. As part of the settlement, according to reports, Takata is expected to pay a $25 million criminal penalty and $850 million in restitution to automakers. The company will also establish a $125 million compensation fund for motorists who were harmed by the airbags. Last year, after calls from Klobuchar, Takata further expanded its national recall of defective air bags linked to a string of horrific injuries and deaths across the country.
“Takata’s air bags transformed a safety feature responsible for saving lives into a ticking time bomb linked to numerous deaths and serious injuries in Minnesota and across the country. A settlement with the Department of Justice is a critical step in holding the company accountable for the horror and devastation caused by its dangerous airbags.”
Klobuchar has been a leader in the U.S. Senate in protecting consumers and holding those responsible for wrongdoing accountable. After reports of defective Takata Corp. airbags, Klobuchar repeatedly called on Takata to immediately issue a nationwide recall and to ensure all vehicles with defective components were removed from the road. After her calls for action, Takata expanded regional recalls of Takata passenger-side inflators to nationwide recalls involving 16 million vehicles. It also expanded the nationwide recall of driver-side inflators to more than 17 million vehicles. In May, Takata announced that it would further expand its recall efforts to include another 35 million air bag inflators, adding to the current nationwide recall of nearly 30 million inflators.
Shashi Chopra from North Oaks, Minnesota, was a passenger in a 2002 BMW that crashed, deploying a Takata air bag. The investigation surrounding the case remains open, but Chopra was left permanently blind. The crash occurred in March 2013, yet the family was not informed about the defect until September 2014 as part of an expanded recall from 2013. In November 2014, Chopra spoke publicly about the incident for the first time at an event with Klobuchar at which they both called for action to get dangerous Takata air bags off the road.