(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), members of the Senate Commerce Committee, issued the following statement today on the Consent Order issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to Takata Corporation, which fines Takata up to $200million for the company’s failure to immediately report a known airbag safety defect, which has caused eight deaths and dozens of injuries. Takata must pay $70million and faces up to an additional $130million in fines for failure to comply with NHTSA’s order. NHTSA also for the first time used its authority to accelerate recall repairs.
“Meager fines do nothing more than change the costs of doing business and provide no meaningful deterrence for continuing reprehensible and irresponsible behavior that costs countless preventable injuries and lives. Today’s action provides further evidence that the cap on civil penalties levied by NHTSA must be eliminated by Congress, and we must also reform the criminal penalties associated with concealing life-saving information about defects from the public. We have a rare opportunity to address this in the Surface Transportation Bill, but Republicans have instead failed to pass meaningful reforms to change the behavior of auto companies that choose profit over human life.”