The legal order Takata Corp. signed with U.S. regulators last week will speed the investigation to determine the reason air bags are exploding and injuring motorists, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.
The agreement means Takata is “no longer resisting” the Transportation Department’s diagnosis that there was a wider safety defect, Foxx told reporters in Washington on Thursday. Takata’s cooperation means company investigators will work alongside regulators on testing, he said.
“The first thing we’re focused on is trying to get a root cause established, and protocols in place to get harmful products out of the marketplace,” Foxx said. “Now we’ll be more or less looking over their shoulders.”
Takata agreed on May 19 to expand recalls to fix faulty air-bag inflators to almost 34 million vehicles. Covering 11 different manufacturers, the campaign is the largest auto-safety recall in U.S. history and it may take weeks for automakers to sort out and notify all consumers affected.