Some of the biggest recalls ever seen in the automotive industry focused on defective airbags provided by Takata, now known as Joyson Safety Systems Japan. The faulty airbags hit virtually every automotive manufacturer and led to the unfortunate death of some involved in accidents in vehicles using the defective airbags. The Takata successor is in trouble again, this time for delivering as many as 9 million seatbelts that don’t meet quality standards to domestic customers.
Domestic customers in this instance indicate Japan, and the report came from the Japanese government. The Japanese Transportation Ministry says that the substandard belts were produced at one domestic plant where test data was altered to allow the belts to clear safety requirements. The Ministry is warning automakers to prepare for a recall, potentially impacting 2 million vehicles around Japan.
The report also found that the company falsified data on belts made for child safety seats. The company currently holds 40 percent of the domestic market share in seatbelts and does significant business with most Japanese automakers. The products are also shipped outside of Japan. There is no indication at this time that defective products are in the US.
Sources cited in the report claim that during strength tests at a plant in Hikone, numbers were altered to appear as if the seatbelts satisfy requirements, and the defective products were delivered to clients. Word of the deceit came from a whistleblower that bought the misconduct light prompting a full internal investigation over the summer.
At this time, it’s unclear exactly how many defective products are on the market. The 9 million figure is an estimate offered as of Thursday. The number of faulty seatbelts could change moving forward. On the child safety seat front, the falsified results will likely mean tens of thousands of child safety seats on the market don’t meet mandated quality standards.