Nebraska has reached a settlement with a national manufacturer of airbags over allegations of safety defects in some of its products.
The Nebraska Attorney General’s office has announced the settlement with TK Holdings, which is reorganizing under federal bankruptcy laws. TK Holdings is a subsidiary of Takata.
The settlement concludes a multistate investigation launched by 44 states and the District of Columbia into allegations TK Holdings failed to timely disclosed known safety defects with some of its airbags.
“Our goals were to protect Nebraska consumers and to ensure this never happens again.” Attorney General Doug Peterson said in a statement released by his office. “We feel those goals were accomplished. This settlement sends a strong message that behavior that endangers consumers will not be ignored.”
More than 50 million airbags in more than 37 million vehicles have been recalled to date, with future anticipated recalls through the end of 2019 likely, bringing the total number of affected airbags to around 65 or 70 million, according to the Nebraska Attorney General’s office. The defect has been linked to 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries worldwide.
TK Holding’s parent company pleaded guilty to manipulating testing data and submitting false and misleading reports to auto manufacturers.
The Attorney General’s office reports under the consent decree and settlement agreement, TK Holdings, Inc. and its successor, Reorganized TK Holdings, shall:
- Not advertise or otherwise represent the safety of its airbag systems or phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate in any way that is false, deceptive, or misleading;
- Not represent that its airbags are safe unless supported by competent and reliable scientific or engineering evidence;
- Not falsify or manipulate testing data, or provide any testing data that the companies know is inaccurate;
- Except as needed to fulfill its obligations under the various recalls, sell any airbag systems using PSAN as a propellant;
- Comply with state and federal law as well as the NHTSA Consent Order and Coordinated Remedy Order; and
- Continue to cooperate with auto manufacturers to ensure that replacement airbag inflators are made available as expeditiously as possible from all possible sources.
TK Holdings has agreed to pay $650 million to pay for investigative costs as well as a civil penalty subject to bankruptcy proceedings.
In addition to Nebraska, the multistate group – led by South Carolina, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas – includes Alabama, Alaska, California, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.