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CEO of Tanaka issues apology for airbag injuries and deaths

Concerns about airbags manufactured by the Japanese company Takata have been affecting drivers in Minnesota and across the country. The vehicle recalls of automobiles equipped with these airbags has grown in scope. While the company has yet to provide any new information as to how the automotive defects happened, that did not stop the CEO of Takata from apologizing.

The apology took place at a meeting of shareholders in Tokyo and was also issued to the public through the media. He bowed each time he apologized. While he showed remorse for what has happened with the airbags, there was still no insight regarding the cause. Eight people have died including seven in the United States. Nearly 34 million vehicles have been recalled to fix the problem with airbag inflators, which can explode at the time of deployment and send sharp metal and plastic into the passenger compartment.

Political pressure is substantial as Democrats on the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee issued a report critical of the company. Amid the recalls, the company is currently trying to determine why the malfunctions occurred. Causes could be how the airbags were constructed, the propellant that was used or its overall design. Another fact that has yet to be understood is why locations with higher humidity have more malfunctions than in other areas.

Given the cultural belief system in Japan, an apology is more than a mere formality. It is a genuine show of contrition with a sincere request for forgiveness. That, however, does not always help those who were hurt because of defective products. If there was an injury or fatality in a vehicle with airbags designed by Takata, victims or their families may wish to file an auto product liability lawsuit.

Source: USA Today, "No cause, but Takata CEO apologizes for deadly air bags," Chris Woodyard, June 26, 2015

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