Takata Faces More Scrutiny in U.S. House Hearing on Airbag Crisis | Edmunds

Takata Faces More Scrutiny in U.S. House Hearing on Airbag Crisis


WASHINGTON — A U.S. House hearing on the Takata airbag crisis is scheduled for December 3 as lawmakers say they intend to "restore the public's trust and ensure safety on the roads."

"The hearing will examine the management and response by industry and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the latest auto safety recalls regarding defective airbags made by the auto supplier Takata," said the House subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trade in a statement on Monday.

Witnesses who have been invited to testify include Hiroshi Shimizu, Takata's senior vice president of global quality assurance and David Friedman, NHTSA acting administrator. Representatives from Toyota, BMW and Honda are expected to testify, as well.

Shimizu and Friedman faced tough questions on the recall last week from legislators during a Senate hearing. The Takata recall involves at least 7.8 million vehicles built by 10 automakers.

"Americans are weary of ever-expanding safety recalls and we need to know that there is an adequate plan in place to address safety risks," said Rep. Lee Terry (R-Nebraska), who will chair the hearing. "Our first priority is ensuring that all defective vehicles are fixed as soon as possible, but we must also review the actions leading up to and surrounding the recalls to understand how we got into this mess and how to avoid similar problems in the future."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month urged owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective Takata airbags.

Edmunds says: Legislators say consumers are now in a situation where a life-saving tool is actually the subject of a safety recall. They want to know why.

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