U.S. to fine air bag maker Takata $14K per day

Feb 20, 2015 4:09 PM by CBS/AP

RICHMOND, Va. - The U.S. government says it will fine Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. $14,000 per day for failing to fully cooperate in an investigation.

Takata's air bag inflators can explode with too much force, spewing shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least six people have been killed worldwide due to the problem.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the fines on Friday in Richmond, Virginia, on a bus tour to promote a major transportation bill.

He says the fines will grow each day that Takata fails to comply with two special orders issued last year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"Safety is a shared responsibility and Takata's failure to fully cooperate with our investigation is unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Sec. Foxx said in a press release. "For each day that Takata fails to fully cooperate with our demands, we will hit them with another fine.

Takata has resisted demands to recall its driver's side air bags nationwide, although automakers have done recalls themselves. You can find out if your car has been recalled by using the DOT's VIN database.

The agency also has demanded data from the company.

Takata released a statement Friday, which read in part, "We are surprised and disappointed by the DOT/NHTSA letter and press release today, and we strongly disagree with their characterization that we have not been fully cooperating with them."

"In response to NHTSA's Special Orders, we have provided the agency with almost 2.5 million pages of documents to date," the company said.

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