Preliminary results from an internal audit allegedly provided further evidence that Takata misrepresented airbag inflator testing results, which it then gave to Honda. The two companies are co-funding this investigation, and the final report should help them better understand the extent of the problem.
Audit investigator Brian O’Neill tells Automotive News that Takata engineers would eliminate negative test data from their reports to Honda. “We have found examples of what I would call ‘selective editing,’ where they have left out results not because they were bad results, but because the results that remained were better,” he said.
Even the audit’s preliminary findings add credence to earlier allegations of Takata messing with airbag testing data. In depositions for a lawsuit, the company’s engineers reported similar behavior in reports for Toyota, Nissan, and General Motors, according to Automotive News.
The audit is still months away from completion, but the final report could prompt Honda to recall the airbag components in even more models. The company’s current safety campaign in the United States covers 8.5 million vehicles that need 12.2 million inflators. Recently, the automaker specifically addressed owners of certain 2001-2003 examples because of a much higher risk that the parts could rupture. The exploding inflators have claimed 10 lives in the U.S, and nine of those cases were in Honda products. There have also been over 100 injuries.
Takata looks to be on the auction block in the wake of this international safety scandal. Automotive News reports there are now as many as 20 buyers showing interest in purchasing on the supplier. The new owner would likely restructure the business and sell off its various divisions.
Source: Automotive News