The Japanese airbag maker Takata has acknowledged a major problem with their airbags, which are installed in various vehicles. The airbags can explode when triggered. The New York Times reports that “at least six deaths and 100 injuries” have been linked to the Takata airbag defect. The U.S. government has succeeded in pressuring Takata to issue a recall that could include up to 34 million vehicles.
Takata is a huge company, as the market penetration represented by 34 million vehicles indicates. Takata, headquartered in Japan, has 46 manufacturing plants in 17 countries, according to its website. It began as a textile company in 1933, began manufacturing seatbelts in the 1950s, and was a pioneer in airbag and child restraint safety equipment. Takata states that its dream is “a society with zero fatalities from traffic accidents.” The site features educational videos explaining how airbags work. An open letter from Takata addressing the ongoing airbag safety issues in 2014 can be found here.