UPDATE (11:00 a.m.) – Three former employees of Takata Corp. have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of concealing defects in the company’s air bag inflators.
The indictments on six counts of conspiracy and wire fraud were unsealed Friday, just hours ahead of a Justice Department news conference to announce a corporate penalty against the Japanese company.
Takata air bag inflators can explode with too much force, spewing metal shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 16 people have been killed worldwide and more than 180 injured. The faulty inflators have touched off the largest automotive recall in U.S. history involving 42 million vehicles and 69 million inflators.
Multiple news outlets have reported that Takata will pay around a $1 billion penalty. The FBI has been investigating allegations that the company deceived federal regulators and tried to cover up the air bag problems.
TOKYO (AP) – Toyota Motor Corp. says it is recalling another 543,000 vehicles in the U.S. for defective front passenger air bag inflators made by Japan’s Takata Corp.
Takata is at the center of a massive recall of inflators that can explode in a crash, spewing metal shrapnel inside the vehicles.
Toyota said Friday that the recall includes various models of sedans and SUVs made between 2006-2012. Among those recalled are the 2008-2009 Scion xB; 2009 and 2012 Corolla and Corolla Matrix, 2007-2009 and 2012 Toyota Yaris, 2012 4Runner and Sienna and various versions of Lexus made between 2006-2012.
Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to cause a small explosion designed to inflate the air bags in a crash.
At least 16 people have been killed worldwide and about 180 have been injured.