Honda Drops Takata as U.S. Issues $200M Fine Over Airbags

The fine, at up to $200 million the largest imposed in the industry, comes amid the widespread recall of airbags that can shoot metal fragments at passengers.

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Honda Motor Company on Tuesday dropped the embattled manufacturer Takata as the airbag supplier for its cars, concluding that the company, its longtime partner, had “misrepresented and manipulated test data.”  Also on Tuesday, regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a $70 million penalty for Takata, one of the world’s largest airbag makers, for failing to promptly disclose defects in its airbags, millions of which have now been recalled. That penalty could increase by $130 million if Takata does not live up to the terms of the consent order, a condition that would make it a record civil punishment for the auto industry.  Anthony Foxx, the transportation secretary, also said that Takata manipulated the test data. In its consent order, the safety agency said that “in several instances, Takata produced testing reports that contained selective, incomplete, or inaccurate data.”  “Delay, misdirection and a refusal to acknowledge the truth allowed a serious problem to become a massive crisis,” Mr. Foxx said at a news conference. “When we first brought this issue to light, there was a lot of denial on the part of Takata.

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