Bloomberg News story
TOKYO (July 10, 2015) — Takata Corp., the Japanese auto-parts maker at the center of a global safety crisis, rejected a U.S. senator's request to set up a fund that would compensate people injured or killed by its airbags.
The auto supplier notified U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., of its decision after the lawmaker called for a fund similar to what General Motors Co. established last year for people killed or injured by defective ignition switches. Takata airbags so far have been linked to eight fatalities and 130 injuries.
“While we do not believe establishing a general compensation fund is warranted at this time, we will continue to assess our position as we focus on how best to address the needs of individuals affected by an inflator rupture,” Takata said in an emailed statement.
The decision risks opening Takata up to more criticism by U.S. legislators who have held four hearings in the past eight months to grill the company over faulty airbags behind what is expected to become the auto industry's biggest recall in history. The defective devices, which can rupture during deployment, continue to take a toll on customers such as Honda Motor Co., which expanded its recalls on Thursday to 24.5 million vehicles.