Senator urges more action after latest death linked to defective airbag
An American senator is calling Takata to account, after a teenager in Texas died from a faulty airbag.
This is a company that was in denial. They just kept claiming that these [bags] were not dangerous.- Senator Amy Klobuchar
Huma Hanif was killed when her Takata-brand airbag deployed after she rear-ended another car. Investigators believe she should have walked away from the minor collision. But a piece of metal from the defective airbag inflator struck and severed an artery in her neck and she died on the scene.
Four years ago, Takata ordered the recall of all affected vehicles. But the victim's family says they never received proper notice.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar believes more should be done in the recall process. She spoke with As it Happens guest host Laura Lynch from Washington, DC.
"This is a case where the woman didn't know about the recall or she hadn't brought the car in," says Senator Klobuchar. "It just shows that they waited so long in getting these recall notices out that people didn't have the kind of time they would have had if it had all been done at once. And it would have been very clear that these cars should have been brought in."
Senator Klobuchar believes Takata failed to adequately notify customers of the danger they faced.
My hope is that if there's any silver lining to this 17-year-old girl's horrible, horrible death, [it's that] they will get that information out there so people will bring their cars back.- Senator Amy Klobuchar
"This is a company that was in denial," she says. "They just kept claiming that these [bags] were not dangerous. They felt that it was only happening in certain states and not others, where the humidity kicked in. And so it was such a slow roll in terms of the recall and customer knowledge, that you still have situations where people aren't bringing their cars in."
Senator Klobuchar argues Takata must be pressured to take more urgent action to prevent further tragedies caused by the defective bags.
"I think it's an outrage. And I think we should have further hearings on this, to try to push Takata — who has been so reticent and that's why they've been fined $70 million — who have allowed people to go blind and people to lose their lives over this. They need to be doing more to educate the public," she says.
"My hope is that if there's any silver lining to this 17-year-old girl's horrible, horrible death, [it's that] they will get that information out there so people will bring their cars back."