Honda audits Takata, finds broad ‘data manipulation’
Additional evidence of data manipulation by Takata employees has emerged in an audit orchestrated by Honda.
Previous reports accused the supplier’s staff of covering up test data that should have served as an early warning pointing to airbag failures years before automakers initiated widespread recalls. In one case, Takata allegedly observed failures in a lot of 50 inflators collected from scrap yards and lab tested in 2004, but sources claimed executives ordered lower workers to erase data and throw away tested components.
The broad allegations appear to be vindicated by the Honda audit, however the automaker has downplayed the safety implications at this point.
“Despite numerous examples of data manipulation, the audit team did not identify any safety risks within the test reports and test data for the inflators in Honda vehicles not recalled as of October 2015,” a spokesperson told Reuters.
The findings could increase Takata’s financial liability as the company struggles to keep its head above the water as recall costs continue to rise. Recent reports suggest the Japanese supplier is actively seeking buyers, however potential suitors are said to be wary of absorbing liability if the company is suspected of illegalities in its test program or other practices.