Senate committee: Takata may have put profits before safety

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Air bag maker Takata Corp may have put profits before safety, a U.S. Senate committee said in a report released on Monday.

The report by the committee on commerce, science and transportation was released the day before a Washington hearing on Takata's defective inflators, which are linked to more than 100 injuries and at least eight deaths globally because of air bags that deploy with too much force and spray metal shards at passengers.

"Internal emails obtained by the committee suggest that Takata may have prioritized profit over safety by halting global safety audits for financial reasons," the committee said in its report.

The committee said company emails indicate global safety audits were halted from 2009 to 2011 "due to financial reasons."

A spokesman for Takata could not immediately be reached to comment.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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Senate committee: Takata may have put profits before safety
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx speaks about the Takata air bag inflator recall, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at the Transportation Department in Washington. Air bag maker Takata Corp. has agreed to declare 33.8 million of its inflator mechanisms defective, effectively doubling the number of cars and trucks that have been recalled in the U.S. so far. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 19: NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind (L) and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (R) speak about the Takata air bag recall during a news conference at the Department of Transportation May 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. It was announced that the Takata Corp. has agreed to declare 33.8 million of its inflator mechanisms defective which will bring the number up to about 34 million autos, making it one of the largest consumer product recalls ever. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2014 file photo, Senate Commerce Committee member Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. displays the parts and function of a defective airbag made by Takata of Japan that has been linked to multiple deaths and injuries in cars driven in the U.S., during the committee's hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Government statistics released Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 show that automakers issued 803 recalls totaling almost 64 million vehicles in the U.S. last year, more than double the old record set a decade earlier. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
In this Dec. 22, 2014 photo, a woman checks out a new Honda City at a Honda showroom in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Six years ago, Honda began recalling Takata driver’s side air bags in the U.S. because they could inflate with too much force and spew shrapnel into the vehicle. But it wasn’t until last month after a crash in Malaysia that killed a woman and her unborn child that Honda recalled driver’s side air bags in small cars from Asia and Europe. (AP Photo)
In this photo taken Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, Honda cars are worked on at the service center in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Six years ago, Honda began recalling Takata driver’s side air bags in the U.S. because they could inflate with too much force and spew shrapnel into the vehicle. But it wasn’t until last month after a crash in Malaysia that killed a woman and her unborn child that Honda recalled driver’s side air bags in small cars from Asia and Europe. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2014 file photo, Senate Commerce Committee member Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. displays the parts and function of a defective airbag made by Takata of Japan that has been linked to multiple deaths and injuries in cars driven in the US, during the committee's hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. The top Japanese auto safety official acknowledged Friday, Dec. 5 that Japan's recall system needs an overhaul to better respond to global problems highlighted by the debacle over Takata air bags that can explode. "The framework in place now doesn't allow for that," Masato Sahashi, director of the recall office at the transport ministry, said in a telephone interview. "Japanese people are very worried about the safety of their cars." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Child seats, manufactured by Takata Corp. are displayed at a Toyota Motor Corp.'s showroom in Tokyo Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. Takata, the Japanese air bag maker embroiled in a massive recall totaling some 12 million vehicles globally, says it's taking more special losses for new recalls and will sink deeper into the red for the fiscal year. Takata said Thursday it will record a 25 billion yen ($218 million) loss for the fiscal year through March 2015. It previously forecast a 24 million yen ($210 million) forecast. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Parts of pyro-electric airbag initiators lie in a production line at the international automotive supplier Takata Ignition Systems GmbH in Schoenebeck, Germany, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The Takata Corporation is a leading global supplier of automotive safety systems such as seat belts, airbags and child seats. The company has 46 plants in 17 countries around the world. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
The logo of the Toyota automobile company is seen on the window of a company showroom in the Indian capital New Delhi on May 13, 2015. Japanese auto giants Toyota and Nissan on May 13, 2015, said they were recalling 6.5 million vehicles globally in the latest chapter of an exploding airbag crisis linked to several deaths. The world's biggest automaker said its recall of five million vehicles affected 35 models globally produced between 2003 and 2007, while Nissan said it was calling back 1.56 million vehicles also due to faulty airbags made by embattled supplier Takata. AFP PHOTO / Chandan KHANNA (Photo credit should read Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)
Japanese auto parts maker Takata's child car seats are displayed at a showroom in Tokyo on May 20, 2015. Takata is doubling a recall of US cars with potentially deadly airbags to a record nearly 34 million vehicles, sending the firm's shares plunging in Tokyo. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
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