Committee Heads Want Takata Air-Bag Documents

WASHINGTON (Detroit Free Press/TNS) -

The chairman and ranking Democrat on the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee again pressed an air-bag maker Thursday for documentation they believe may be linked to defective air bags.

Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., who chairs the committee, and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., sent Takata Corp. Chairman and CEO Shigehisa Takada a letter saying requests for information dating to last November still haven’t been fully complied with.

Thune and Nelson said the defect, in which air-bag inflators can rupture under certain conditions, spraying a vehicle’s occupants with metal shards, has been linked to at least six deaths and multiple injuries in incidents in the U.S.

In their request for information, the senators said they are waiting for a reported March 2011 email from a Takata supervisor in which he may have warned of defects; the results of a safety inspection at a Takata plant in Mexico that same year; corporate organizational charts and a copy of the company’s policies for retaining documents.

Thune and Nelson said Takata employees met in a confidential briefing March 4 with committee staff and said the previously requested documents would be sent this week. The senators asked for the documents to be delivered no later than Friday.