Nearly 34 million vehicles worldwide with defective Takata airbags have been recalled. The U.S. portion alone represents the largest automotive recall in our country’s history. The recalled Takata airbags contain a propellant that can cause the airbag to explode upon impact in an accident, shooting metal casing debris towards drivers and passengers.
Now, an article in the New York Times reveals that emails between Takata employees recently unsealed from ongoing litigation evidence high levels of intentional data manipulation on the part of Takata employees. (Takata issued a statement claiming that the exchanges involved data formatting only and were unrelated to recalled defective airbags.)
Internal emails suggest the manipulation was “both bold and broad,” and involved Takata employees in Japan and the United States, the New York Times reports. One 2006 email reportedly reads, “Happy Manipulating!!!” by airbag engineer Bob Schubert in reference to the results of ongoing airbag tests. Schubert also wrote of changing the colors or lines in a related graphic to distract from undesirable test results. You can read the full story on the New York Times site.
Lieff Cabraser serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the national litigation against Takata Corporation, which involves more than 10 vehicle manufacturers. You can learn more about the lawsuit on our Takata Airbag Recall case page.