Takata falsified seatbelt test data at its plants – report

Joyson Safety Systems’ (JSS) division in Japan revealed that it has discovered evidence of 1,000 cases of falsified data in seatbelt tests at two plants that were acquired from airbag maker Takata Corporation, which filed for bankruptcy in June 2017.

An investigation by JSS, which began in October 2020, showed doctored test data on belt webbing used for seatbelts and child safety seats made at plants in Hikone, Japan as well as the Philippines. Hisayoshi Iwamitsu, president of JSS Japan, told Reuters that the test results, which looked at the quality of the belt webbing, were altered to meet legal and client standards.

He added that the company has submitted its investigation report to Japan’s transport ministry, but is not planning to announce a recall. This is because a reexamination of the webbing showed no safety issues, and the 12 automakers that the company supplies to have decided not to implement car inspections.

The investigation also showed that data had been falsified over a two-decade period until January 2020, overlapping with the airbag scandal that Takata was involved in that resulted in a global recall that remains ongoing. JSS clarified that the doctored results occurred before it took over Takata’s plants.

To prevent future potential instances of this issue, JSS has introduced an electronic system in March that prevents test data from being tampered with, with further safeguards involving the expansion of human resources for quality management.

“In response to the airbag issue, JSS group as a whole made various efforts including establishing a code of conduct and enhancing compliance awareness among employees, especially those involved in quality management,” said Kohei Hamamoto, JSS Japan’s senior legal official.

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