Deadly Recalls: What Happened to Takata?

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One of the biggest stories of the 2010s was the absolutely epic implosion of Japanese manufacturer Takata following a seemingly endless string of recalls for their airbags.

It seemed like roughly every six months, another automaker had to recall some of their vehicles due to a new Takata recall. Let’s take a look at what became of the disgraced automaker.

Takata Corporation

Takata was a Japanese corporation that made automotive parts at production facilities all over the globe. They were founded in 1933, though they didn’t get into producing automotive parts until the 1950s. They largely sold seatbelts throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s, though they would occasionally dabble in other production.

By 1988, the company began making airbags. In 2014, Takata-made airbags were in over 20 percent of all vehicles on the planet. However, in 2013, when the recalls for Takata airbags began, things didn’t look too great for a company that held one-fifth of the market.

It seemed, at the time, that the issue might be isolated to a few models. It wasn’t. What followed was a nightmare for the company.

Airbag Recalls Begin

In 2013, Honda issued recalls of several of its vehicles, joining many other major automakers who had begun recalling cars for their Takata airbags. Honda, however, asserted that vehicles made as early as the 1998 model year sported faulty airbags, making the Takata issue something much bigger than a single wave of recalls.

Takata divulged that a factory they used in Mexico had been improperly handling the explosive propellants in their airbags. The nightmare unfolded further when it was revealed that the company had kept poor quality control records, making it very difficult to determine which vehicles needed to be recalled.

Recalls continued to pour in throughout the decade, with the most recent occurring just last month, in January of 2019.

Takata Files for Bankruptcy

Takata was slammed with so many fines and fees for its negligence and the numerous deaths from the faulty airbags that they had to file for bankruptcy in 2017. While the company’s assets were bought up by competitor Key Safety Systems, Takata itself is no more.

Few were saddened by the news that the company went under as a result of its own negligence. People died due to their failure to properly manufacture their safety products, so it’s only fitting that the company would be dissolved as a result.