Tips, Tricks & Trends

More Recalls: Bad Seat Belts Will Be Like Takata Airbag Cheat

Joyson Safety Systems in Japan took over Takata Corporation after it went bankrupt from the airbag scandal. But now Joyson has been found to have falsified seat belt data. It shipped substandard seat belts according to the Japanese transport ministry. The transport ministry also warned of a major recall of seat belts in the offing. This bad seat belt scandal will be like the Takata airbag cheat.

Joyson manufactures about 40% of all Japanese vehicle seat belts according to Nikkei. It was Joyson that acquired Takata in US Bankruptcy Court in 2018 for $1.6 billion. Takata was the manufacturer that hid data showing that defective airbags could explode blowing shrapnel into passengers in an accident. That in turn resulted in the largest safety recall in automotive history that is still ongoing. So far there have been 26 deaths worldwide with 17 being in the US. 

Last week the 17th person in the US was killed by a Takata airbag

Car totaled with a deployed airbag
A deployed airbag | Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Just last week it was reported by Automotive News that the driver of a 2002 Honda Civic became the 17th US person to die from a faulty airbag inflator. There have been 15 US deaths in Honda cars and two in Ford products. Worldwide there have been 26 deaths overall from Takata airbags. The last death in the US was in another 2002 Honda in the same general area of Arizona. The most recent death was in Mesa, Arizona. 

Honda had to pay $85 million in the US settling investigations into defective Takata airbags. The amount of recalled airbags has been estimated to be about 100 million. This particular Honda began a recall campaign back in 2011 to replace the front airbag. Honda said it sent over 15 recall notices over eight years to owners of the Civic. The driver killed in the Civic was not the registered owner. 

Joyson manufactures safety components including seat belts

A steering wheel igniter is shown in the center of a steering wheel.
An airbag igniter is built into a steering wheel for a car at the Takata Ignition Systems Gmbh factory | Jens Wolf/picture alliance via Getty Images

RELATED: When Were Seatbelts Invented?

Joyson recently moved its operations to Auburn Hills, Michigan, just outside of Detroit. It manufactures safety components that include seat belts, airbags, steering wheels, child seats, and other products. Joyson did not take on the liabilities associated with the Takata airbag scandal when it acquired Takata. Before the acquisition, it had over $7 billion in annual sales. 

Joyson employs over 50,000 employees worldwide in over 25 countries. It is listed at 39th of the top 100 global automotive suppliers according to Automotive News. 

As of now, it is unclear when safety recalls for substandard seat belts will begin. It is also unclear how many auto manufacturers or modes will be involved in the recall. We know that 40% of Japanese-built vehicles use the Joyson seat belts but it is not clear if it also supplies other manufacturers outside of Japan. Once the recalls begin Motorbiscuit will cover those recalls.