Louisiana reaches $650M settlement with Takata over airbag safety issues
BATON ROUGE - State officials have reached a deal in a settlement with a company accused of concealing safety issues in airbags involved in fatal accidents.
Attorney General Jeff Landry announced the settlement with TK Holdings, Inc. Thursday. The company is a subsidary of Takata, which is at the center of an investigation by 45 state attorneys general looking into accusations of failure to timely disclose defects with certain airbag inflators. The product has been blamed for at least 20 deaths, including one in Baton Rouge, and hundreds of injuries.
"A malfunction of this magnitude poses a direct threat to the citizens I took an oath to protect," Landry said. "So as we did here, my office and I will continue to investigate companies that engage in unsafe and deceptive trade practices and do all we legally can to make our communities safer."
Under the settlement agreement, TK Holdings Inc, and it's successor, Reorganized TK Holdings, will reimburse the states involved for investigative costs and for the entry of stipulated civil penalty. That amount adds up to about $650 million. The company must also follow guidelines restricting them from advertising their airbags as safe or manipulating their testing data, and forcing them to comply with state and federal safety laws.
Since 2008, more than 50 million airbags have been recalled and more are expected in the future. Through their investigation, it was determined the company knew of the safety risks with a defective product due to testing failures.