Japanese airbag supplier Takata Corp failed to inform the U.S. National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a 2003 rupture of one of its airbag inflators in Switzerland.
The airbag failure was revealed in internal Takata reports released by the NHTSA on Friday, September 23.
The airbag rupture occurred in a vehicle in May 2003, and Takata claimed that the incident was cause due to overloading air-bag inflater propellant.
However, when the Japanese parts supplier was asked about a few airbag recalls in 2010 by the NHTSA it failed to disclose any news about the Swiss rupture from 2003. A U.S. engineer at Takata asked if that incident should have been disclosed to the NHTSA in 2010, but it was not.
Takata's defective air bag inflators have been linked to at least 14 deaths and more than 100 injuries and have sparked the largest-ever auto recall. 100 million defective airbag inflators have been recalled with 70 million inflators are in the United States alone.
However, Takata is claiming that its its U.S. arm and not the parent company (which is based in Japan), was largely responsible for designing, testing, and producing tens of millions of defective airbag inflators.