DETROIT (AP) — The Justice Department has announced a criminal penalty against Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. as part of its investigation into the company’s defective air bag inflators.
Takata has agreed to plead guilty to concealing air bag defects. Takata will pay $1 billion in fines and restitution.
Takata air bag inflators can explode with too much force, spewing metal shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 16 people have been killed worldwide and more than 180 injured. The faulty inflators have touched off the largest automotive recall in U.S. history involving 42 million vehicles and 69 million inflators.
The FBI has been investigating allegations that the company deceived federal regulators and tried to cover up the air bag problems.
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