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)
Takata airbag recall
Senate committee: Takata may have put profits before safety
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)
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)