Honda Audit Finds Takata Manipulated Airbag Inflator Test Data

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Takata is already in hot water thanks to the massive airbag inflator recalls that affect millions of cars and so far have been linked to 13 deaths worldwide. The latest findings in an audit don’t help its situation, either. Reuters reports that an audit carried out by Takata’s former largest customer, Honda, has found widespread manipulation of airbag inflator test results.

Honda says the audit began in October 2015 and looked at all Takata-made inflators supplied to the company. This move followed an internal review that suggested test data was misrepresented. The audit was led by former IIHS president Brian O’Neil, who found that Takata engineers had omitted some test results to reduce the inflators’ performance variability. The first phase of the audit dealt with inflators that had not yet been recalled as of October, and despite the falsifications, the review showed no safety risks in those vehicles.

“Despite numerous examples of data manipulation, the audit team did not identify any safety risks within the test reports and test data for the inflators in Honda vehicles not recalled as of October 2015,” Honda spokesman Chris Martin said in a statement to Reuters.

So far Honda has only received preliminary information from the audit. A full report is expected to be delivered to Honda and U.S. regulators within the next week.

The recall crisis has taken a heavy toll on Takata. The supplier is now looking for investors to revamp the business and help offset the costs of the recalls. Takata’s CEO Shigehisa Takada announced that he will step down once management is restructured. About 100 million inflators have been identified as defective, meaning they have the potential to rupture and inflate with too much force and launch shrapnel toward occupants. As a result of the recalls, Honda has dropped Takata as a supplier.

Source: Reuters