Takata Airbag Inflator Matter
(U.S. v. Tanaka, et al.)
Case No.: 16-cr-20810-GCS-EAS (E.D. Michigan)
February 28, 2017: UPDATE: Takata pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh of the Eastern District of Michigan, on February 27, 2017, to a one count criminal information charging the company with wire fraud. After accepting Takata’s guilty plea, Judge Steeh, consistent with the terms of the plea agreement, sentenced Takata to pay a total criminal penalty of $1 billion, including $975 million in restitution and a $25 million fine, and three years’ probabtion. Under a joint restitution order entered at the time of sentencing, two restitution funds will be established: a $125 million fund for those individuals who have been physically injured by Takata’s airbags and who have not already reached a settlement with the company, and a $850 million fund for airbag recall and replacement costs incurred by those auto manufacturers who were victims of Takata’s fraud scheme. A court-appointed special master will oversee administration of the restitution funds. Takata will also implement rigorous internal controls, retain an independent compliance monitor for a term of three years and cooperate fully with the department’s ongoing investigation, including its investigation of individuals.
Any further updates relating to this case will be posted to this webpage.
You may also obtain information from the Department of Justice webpage by clicking the following link. https://www.justice.gov/criminal-vns/case/takata-airbag-inflator-matter
For a copy of the Plea Agreement, please click here
For a copy of the Consent Judgment and Forfeiture Judgment, please click here
For a copy of the Restitution Order, please click here
For a copy of the Press Release of February 27, 2017, please click here
February 27, 2017: Takata Corporation pled guilty to and was sentenced for violations of Federal Criminal Wire Fraud statutes. This hearing took place before the Honorable George Caram Steeh. Specific details about the plea and sentence will be posted to this webpage on 2/28/2017.
February 3, 2017: The hearing for Takata Corporation’s guilty plea and sentencing has been set for February 27, 2017, at 1:30pm, and is scheduled before Judge Steeh at the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse, 231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226, in Courtroom 236.
United States v. Takata Corporation: On January 13, 2017, Tokyo-based Takata Corporation, one of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive safety-related equipment, was charged in a criminal information with one count of wire fraud for its conduct in connection with the sales of defective airbag inflators.
As charged, from approximately 2000, Takata knew that certain ammonium nitrate-based airbag inflators were not performing to the specifications required by the auto manufacturers. Takata also knew that certain inflators had sustained failures, including ruptures, during testing. Nevertheless, Takata induced its customers to purchase these airbag systems by submitting false and fraudulent reports and other information that concealed the true condition of the inflators. This fraudulent data made the performance of the company’s airbag inflators appear better than it actually was, including by omitting that, in some instances, inflators ruptured during testing. Takata employees – including a number of key executives – routinely discussed the falsification of test reports being provided to Takata’s customers in email and in verbal communications. Even after the inflators began to experience repeated problems in the field – including ruptures causing injuries and deaths – Takata executives continued to withhold the true and accurate inflator test information and data from their customers. In addition, Takata took no disciplinary actions against those involved in the falsification of test data until 2015, despite the fact that senior executives had been made aware of the fraudulent conduct years earlier.
Takata has agreed to plead guilty to the charge and pay a total of $1 billion in criminal penalties, including $975 million in restitution and a $25 million fine. Takata has also agreed to implement rigorous internal controls, retain a compliance monitor for a term of three years and cooperate fully with the department’s ongoing investigation, including its investigation of individuals.
Two restitution funds will be established: a $125 million fund for individuals who have been physically injured by Takata’s airbags and who have not already reached a settlement with the company, and a $850 million fund for airbag recall and replacement costs incurred by auto manufacturers who were victims of Takata’s fraud scheme. A court-appointed special master will oversee administration of the restitution funds. This website will be updated about the process and procedures by which the funds will be administered by the special master when it becomes available.
No court date has been set for Takata Corporation’s guilty plea.
United States v. Tanaka, et al.: On December 7, 2016, former Takata executives Shinichi Tanaka, Hideo Nakajima and Tsuneo Chikaraishi were charged in a sealed indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud for their alleged conduct in connection with the above-described fraud scheme. This indictment was unsealed on January 13, 2017. These defendants reside in Japan.
For more information about the Takata and Tanaka, et al. charges, please see below:
Press Release click HERE
Takata Corporation First Superseding Information click HERE
Takata Corporation Plea Agreement click HERE
Tanaka, et al. Indictment click HERE
The parties will work with Judge Steeh to set up procedures that will allow individuals harmed by Takata airbag modules to be notified of court dates and to have an opportunity to be heard. In addition, Judge Steeh will establish a protocol for receiving impact letters or oral statements from individuals harmed by Takata airbag modules.
The information on this website will be updated as new developments arise in the case. If you have any questions, please call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at email@example.com.
The following rights apply only to victims of the counts charged in federal court, and thus individuals may not be able to exercise all of these rights if the crime of which the individual is a victim was not charged. The determination of whether a person or entity qualifies as a victim Under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act will be made by Judge Steeh.
Crime Victim Rights: Under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, Title 18, United States Code, Section 3771, a crime victim has the following rights: (1) the right to be reasonably protected from the accused; (2) the right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused; (3) the right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding; (4) the right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding; (5) the reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case; (6) the right to full and timely restitution as provided in law; (7) the right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay; and (8) the right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy; (9) the right to be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement; and (10) the right to be informed of the rights under this section and the services described in section 503(c) of the Victims' Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 10607(c)) and provided contact information for the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice.
If a victim believes that a Justice Department employee has not provided him or her with these rights, that individual or entity may file a complaint with the Justice Department’s Victims’ Rights Ombudsman.
Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice Contact Information:
Marie A. O’Rourke
Victims’ Rights Ombudsman
Email: usaeo.VictimOmbudsman@usdoj.gov (Victims’ Rights Ombudsman)
Executive Office for United States Attorneys
Department of Justice
RFK Main Justice Building
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Room 2261
Washington, DC 20530-0001
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