DETRIOT, Michigan (January 13, 2017) — It’s rather ironic that a company that makes a product meant to save lives, hid the fact that they were defective with deadly consequences for years.
They knew about the potentially lethal defect in their airbags, but kept it a secret for many years.
Finally Takata Corp. and three of its former employees identified as Shinichi Tanaka, Hideo Nakajima and Tsuneo Chikaraishi have plead guilty, but is the $1 billion fine and restitution enough to compensate the people who were hurt or the families of those who lost their lives. Probably not.
The three employees were found guilty of falsifying reports and hiding the deadly facts in company reports after learning the inflators in the airbags could rupture or explode. They faced six counts of conspiracy and wire fraud and Takata was charged with one wire fraud count.
“No amount of money will ever compensate a family member for the loss of a loved one,” said Attorney James Johnson, a personal injury and lemon law attorney.
Takata has plead guilty in a plea deal to federal charges that they failed to reveal to the public information that would have exposed the deadly risk to motorists whose vehicles were equipped with these airbags, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The company has agreed to pay $1 billion in fines as well as restitution to anyone who was hurt or the families of those killed by the exploding airbags.
- $25 million criminal fine,
- $125 million to individuals injured by Takata airbags
- $850 million to automakers that purchased the inflators
The money will be distributed very soon, according to US District appointed Attorney Kenneth Feinberg. Still it’s no consolation to the families of the 16 people who died due to these defective airbags worldwide, including 11 here in the U.S.
These families and the 180 people who were injured will share $125 million in restitution Takata has agreed to pay as a result of the guilty plea.
Meanwhile, the money paid to automakers has to be paid within five days of Takata’s anticipated sale or merger. The Japanese airbag supplier is expectd to be sold this year to another supplier or investor.
Help for Car Owners — Call 800-235-6801
Motorists who have suffered losses due to defective Takata airbags may be eligible for compensation under California Lemon Laws. Additionally, if you or a loved one have suffered an injury or wrongful death in a crash involving a vehicle equipped with these faulty airbags, you may need legal help to obtain justice and compensation for your losses.
Johnson Attorneys Group has helped thousands of clients resolve their personal injury and lemon law cases and we can help you. Call us for a FREE CONSULTATION at 800-235-6801. Remember that our attorneys fees do not come out of your settlement because the manufacturer is required to pay them directly to us under California Lemon Laws. In cases involving an injury or wrongful death, our lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis and payment is only necessary if a settlement is provided.