Auto Part Maker Finds Takata Falsified Seat Belt Tests: Report

Takata demonstrates the effectiveness of its seatbelts during a 2012 exhibition.

Takata demonstrates the effectiveness of its seatbelts during a 2012 exhibition.
Photo: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP (Getty Images)

The Japanese arm of Joyson Safety Systems, a United States-based automotive safety component maker, found 1,000 cases of data falsification when it came to Takata’s seatbelt tests, Reuters reports.

This investigation began back in October of 2020, and the results are conclusive: plants in Hikone, Japan and in the Philippines were found to have falsified test data on belt webbing for adult seatbelts and child safety seats. This webbing is the core of the belt’s strength, so it’s crucial that these elements are in top condition.

Unfortunately, the plants in question doctored data in order to meet client standards. It does not appear that these elements compromised safety, and there are currently no recalls issued for the belts at the moment. That said, Hisayoshi Iwamitsum president of JSS Japan, said JSS Japan submitted an investigation report to Japan’s transport ministry on Friday.

Here’s a little more from the Reuters story:

As part of preventive measures, the company introduced an electronic system in March that would prevent data from being falsified, and is working on expanding human resources for quality management, he added.

The investigation also showed that data had been falsified at Hikone plant over a two-decade period until Jan. 2020, overlapping with when Takata was embroiled in airbag scandals.

Yes, having both seatbelt and airbag issues is not great. That doesn’t lend a lot of confidence to your company—but at the very least, the seatbelt issue doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as devastating as the airbag one, in part because the safety of the belts were confirmed by other tests.

If you’ve forgotten, about 67 million Takata air bags were recalled for potentially causing harm to drivers involved in accidents. Airbags exposed to high heat or humidity were prone to failing.

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