Takata Corp., the Japanese supplier whose airbags have been linked to at least 11 U.S. deaths, has agreed to plead guilty and pay fines and restitution totaling about $1 billion, the Department of Justice announced Friday afternoon.
Reflecting what U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch this week called an effort to hold “flesh-and-blood individuals,” rather than just “faceless corporations” responsible for criminal activity, three Takata executives have been indicted in the scandal. Takata acknowledged it not only produced defective airbags but took steps to conceal that information from both its automaker customers and from the public.
“Takata was supposed to be selling products that saved lives,” said Sandra Moser, principal deputy chief of the DOJ’s Fraud Section. Instead, for more than a decade … it put profits ahead of people’s safety.” (more…)