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Takata CEO Won't Resign Despite Expanding Scope Of Airbag Recall

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On: Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 9:57AM | By: Carl Malek

Takata CEO Won't Resign Despite Expanding Scope Of Airbag Recall

Amid pressure for his resignation due to the growing scope of the Takata airbag recall, Takata CEO Shigehisa Takada stated that he intends to keep a firm grip on the controls of the troubled auto accessory producer, despite previous insider reports that suggested Takada was exploring a possible resignation from the company. According to the folks at Reuters, anonymous sources within the company revealed that Takada would step down on January 29th and take full responsibility for the recall. Instead the company released a statement that indicated that this was not the case and that Takada has no plans to step down.

Takada's criticized response to the growing cloud of scrutiny surrounding the now infamous airbag recall has caused some both in and outside the company to formally call for his resignation in an effort to steer the troubled company back in the right direction. This task is already proving to be difficult with major investors recently selling their shares in the company due to its refusal to answer key questions about the recall and why it took so long for the problem to finally be noticed. The stain of the recall has extended to numerous automakers with Ford, Honda, Mazda, and Toyota deciding to not use the company's ammonium nitrate-propelled airbag inflators in their future models. As a result, demand for the company's steering wheels has also taken a hit though, unlike the airbag inflators, no major automaker has dropped them from its list of future models.

The recall continues to grow; Takata issued an updated notice that adds an additional five million vehicles to the list of recalled vehicles in the U.S. after the death of a driver in an older Ford Ranger pickup truck. Ford already released the details of its safety campaign and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration expects that Audi, BMW, Saab, Volkswagen, and others to submit similar safety initiatives. Takata's exploding airbag inflators have beendeemed responsible for at least 10 deaths; according to Reuters, an 11th death could be added to the list if evidence collaborates an exploding inflator as a contributing factor.

The media was quick to criticize Takata back in 2014 for not taking a direct course of action on the airbag inflator problem; the company's choice to send its chief financial officer in the CEO's place at a recent analyst hearing caused another round of denunciation. Takada would later issue two separate apologies for the recall: one at a meeting of shareholders, the other at a press conference.


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