US transportation regulators announced the largest civil penalty levied in their history Tuesday against Japanese manufacturer Takata in the wake of the company’s defective airbag scandal.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hit Takata with a 200-million-dollar fine due to its lack of cooperation in the aftermath of the scandal.
Takata’s defective airbags, which could rupture explosively when deployed, spraying metal fragments at drivers and passengers, have led to the deaths of at least seven people and injured 98. Millions of vehicles have been recalled as a result of the airbags.
A dozen car manufacturers are affected in the recall.
“For years, Takata has built and sold defective products, refused to acknowledge the defect, and failed to provide full information to NHTSA, its customers or the public,” US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.
“The result of that delay and denial has harmed scores of consumers and caused the largest, most complex safety recall in history.”