Takata resists pressure to create victim fund
Takata has resisted pressure from Congress to create a national compensation fund for victims of defective airbag inflators.
Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has led the push for a fund styled after General Motors’ ignition-switch compensation program. The faulty airbag components have so far been blamed for at least eight deaths due to shrapnel injuries.
“As you may know, Takata has already resolved a number of claims involving airbag ruptures,” the company wrote in a letter to Blumenthal. “At the present time … Takata believes that a national compensation program is not currently required.”
The company has acknowledged the likelihood that a compensation fund would bring to light additional cases. For reference, GM tallied just 13 deaths associated with defective ignition switches, however its compensation fund has paid claims for 121 fatalities.
The company also noted that GM’s fund was created to provide unique compensation for victims who would have been affected by the automaker’s bankruptcy liability shield.
“Takata’s senior management has given the idea of a compensation fund careful consideration, and we will continue to evaluate the possible benefits of such a mechanism … ” the supplier added.