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Takata Whistleblowers Awarded $1.7 Million

Takata Whistleblowers Awarded $1.7 Million

Three whistleblowers will share $1.7 million for warning the government about Takata Corp.’s dangerous violations of federal safety laws and providing a substantial amount of information that helped the government make its case against the corporation, according to Insurance Journal. The three men are former employees of Takata, the maker of tens of millions of defective airbags.

As of April 2018, automakers have recalled approximately 50 million defective Takata airbag inflators, with more recalls expected in the next year. Millions of airbags have yet to be replaced, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In a crash airbag inflators can over-pressurize and explode sending metal shards tearing into vehicle occupants. The defective inflators, which have been used by 19 different automakers, have been blamed for 23 deaths and more than 260  injuries worldwide.

After news of the injuries and deaths caused by exploding Takata airbags became public in 2014, several former Takata employees turned over evidence that showed the company had known about the dangers associated with their use of ammonium nitrate as a propellant since 1998 and had manipulated data to conceal ruptures during testing. Mark Lillie, former Takata propellant engineer, and the only one of the three to make his name public, provided evidence that he warned the company that the use of ammonium nitrate would be deadly. Two anonymous whistleblowers provided evidence of the data manipulations.

The Source of the $1.7 Million

The payment will come from a reserve fund Takata set up when it filed for bankruptcy. The employees might also receive compensation from the government, thanks to a 2015 law called the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act (Act).

Under the Act, an auto-industry employee who notifies the government of vehicle safety violations and provides evidence that leads to the government recovering financial sanctions over $1 million against the wrongdoer corporation can get between 10 and 30 percent of any civil penalties that exceed $1 million.

If you or a loved one suffered harm because of a defective airbag, call Newsome Melton to discuss your case for free: 888-808-5977.

Takata Whistleblower Says Air Bag Warning Was ‘Ethical Duty’

Takata Whistleblower Says Air Bag Warning Was ‘Ethical Duty’

Former Takata Corp. engineer Mark Lillie told the Japan Times he had an “ethical duty” to expose the airbag manufacturer’s knowledge, dating back the late 1990s, that the chemical compound used as a propellant to inflate its airbags was dangerous and highly susceptible to uncontrolled explosions. The propellant, housed in a canister in the steering […]

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Rollaway: The Safety Problem that Doesn’t Go Away

Rollaway: The Safety Problem that Doesn’t Go Away

On August 1, 2013, Jose Banderas pulled into his driveway after church, placed his 2009 Dodge Caravan in Park, and exited with the engine running, so his wife could listen to the radio. He walked to the rear of the van, opened the lift gate to remove his walker and other items. But the Caravan […]

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NHTSA Requests Meetings with Automakers About Takata Recall

NHTSA Requests Meetings with Automakers About Takata Recall

In May 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wrote a letter to 12 major automakers, warning them that they had not met the December 2017 deadline for completing repairs in high-risk areas – such as Florida – that experience more humidity and heat fluctuations than other areas. The manufacturers included Honda, Toyota, General […]

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Multistate Reaches Settlement with Takata Over Defective Airbags

Multistate Reaches Settlement with Takata Over Defective Airbags

Hawaii, Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands announced in May 2018 that they have settled claims against Takata Corp. for $7 million for endangering their citizens with airbags Takata knew were unsafe. They join 44 other states and the District of Columbia, which settled with Takata in February 2018 for $650 million. Together with the […]

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Center for Auto Safety Urges NHTSA to Reconsider Takata Repair Extensions

Center for Auto Safety Urges NHTSA to Reconsider Takata Repair Extensions

The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) continues to urge the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to curb its deadline extensions to automakers charged with providing enough replacements for recalls of Takata airbags. In July 2018, the safety advocacy group asked the agency not to exempt General Motors from recalling passenger airbags in many of […]

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Many Defective Takata Airbags Still Not Repaired

Many Defective Takata Airbags Still Not Repaired

Millions of vehicle owners are still waiting for automakers to provide replacements for their dangerous Takata airbags, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues to urge automakers to speed up the process. In the largest automotive recall in history, 19 automakers have so far recalled 37 million vehicles with 50 million Takata airbags […]

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Honda Says 60,000 Vehicles Still Have Defective Takata Airbags

Honda Says 60,000 Vehicles Still Have Defective Takata Airbags

In April 2018, Honda warned the public that there were more than 62,000 vehicles that had not yet had their “ticking time bomb” Takata airbags replaced. This subset of airbags, known as Alpha inflators, has demonstrated a 50-50 chance of rupturing in testing. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website, another 3.5 […]

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GM Files 3rd Request to Avoid Takata Airbag Recalls

GM Files 3rd Request to Avoid Takata Airbag Recalls

General Motors (GM) has now filed three petitions to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requesting a recall exemption for nearly two million of its 2007 to 2013 model vehicles with Takata airbags, which have been linked to at least 23 deaths worldwide, including 15 in the U.S. Takata, NHTSA, and other automakers have […]

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