Correspondent, Detroit
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Dec 2, 2014
Dec 2, 2014

Takata taps former U.S. transport chiefs in air bag safety crisis

DETROIT, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Takata Corp, the
Japanese air bag supplier at the center of a growing auto safety
crisis, said on Tuesday that it is forming an independent
quality panel headed by former White House chief of staff and
U.S. Transportation Secretary Samuel K. Skinner.

The panel will audit and report on the company’s
manufacturing processes, which have been called into question
after several deaths and serious injuries linked to air bags
deploying with too much force and spraying vehicle occupants
with metal shrapnel. The report will be made public.

Dec 2, 2014

November auto sales strongest in years

DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit automakers sold more cars and trucks in November than analysts expected, as a surging economy and falling fuel prices helped drive sales of big pickups and SUVs.

General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday said November sales rose 6.5 percent to 225,818, topping the average 217,462 projected by auto analysts.

Nov 24, 2014

GM president: U.S. economy holding up, other regions slowing or soft

NEW YORK (Reuters) – General Motors Co President Dan Ammann on Monday said he expects “more of the same” next year from a U.S. auto market that has been growing slowly, while he is bracing for continued soft demand in other parts of the globe.

“It’s been more downsides than upsides this year,” Ammann said in an interview with Reuters reporters and editors here. “I’d say the U.S. has been a little better than we’d planned, but South America has been more challenging and Europe has been a little slower.”

Nov 20, 2014

Takata exec warns about ability to fix deadly air bag flaw

WASHINGTON/DETROIT, Nov 20 (Reuters) – An executive from
Japan’s Takata Corp told U.S. senators on Thursday that
the supplier is urgently trying to ramp up replacement parts for
millions of vehicles equipped with potentially deadly air bags,
but said it may not be able to move quickly enough.

The U.S. auto safety regulator also warned of the risks of
moving to a nationwide recall, as senators have urged, saying
such a move could divert replacement parts from humid regions
where the defective air bags are more likely to rupture upon
deployment, shooting metal shards into cars.

Nov 20, 2014

Senators slam industry’s response to ‘live grenade’ air bags

WASHINGTON/DETROIT, Nov 20 (Reuters) – An executive from
Japan’s Takata Corp apologized at a Senate hearing on
Thursday to the victims of defective air bags that can rupture
upon deployment and shoot metal shards into cars, but stopped
short of taking full responsibility for deaths linked to the

Separately, an executive from Honda Motor Co, whose
vehicles have been most impacted, acknowledged during testimony
that the automaker could have acted faster to recall and replace
the air bags.

Nov 20, 2014
Nov 20, 2014

Takata, auto execs face U.S. Senate over deadly air bag scandal

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – Executives from Japan’s Takata Corp (7312.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and two automakers faced tough scrutiny from U.S. senators on Thursday over the risk of millions of potentially defective air bags that can rupture upon deployment, shooting metal shards into cars.

The head of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also scheduled to testify about criticism his agency has been slow to respond to the scandal, which has been linked to at least five deaths so far.

Nov 20, 2014
Nov 20, 2014

Special Report: Plant with troubled past at center of Takata air bag probe

CIUDAD FRONTERA Mexico/DETROIT (Reuters) – The dusty, industrial town of Ciudad Frontera, Mexico, has moved from the far reaches of the global auto supply chain to the front lines of an investigation into why air bags from Takata Corp are blowing up with lethal force in accidents.

The Takata plant there has been confirmed as the source of defective air bags made in 2001 and 2002 and again around 2012, according to recall records, automakers and regulators. In 2006, the factory blew up, driving home for workers and residents the volatility and risk of the explosive compound at the core of Takata’s air bags.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Klayman is based in Detroit and in April was named leader of the global automotive team for Reuters. Previously, Ben covered the business of sports as well as consumer and retail for three years and led the manufacturing/housing team for four years. He also covered the telecommunications sector for three years. He joined Reuters in Detroit in 1998 to cover autos. Prior to joining Reuters, he worked at a series of daily newspapers in Ohio and Maryland. Ben graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English literature."
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