Takata Corp. (IW 1000/712), the auto-parts maker behind the industry’s largest-ever safety recall, said a subcontractor’s truck transporting air bag inflators and propellant exploded last week in Texas, killing one and injuring four people.
The truck was involved in an accident and caught fire on Aug. 22, a company spokesman said by phone. Takata personnel immediately deployed to the site have been working with the subcontractor and authorities to investigate the incident, the spokesman said.
“Takata has strict safety procedures relating to the transportation of its products that meet or exceed all regulatory requirements,” the company said in a statement first reported by the automotive blog Jalopnik. “Our thoughts are with the family of the woman who died as a result of this accident, and with the four people injured.”
The incident is the latest involving Takata propellant that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said will be phased-out unless the supplier is able to assure the regulator of its safety. The company is planning a restructuring and seeking buyers after its inflators ruptured and sprayed metal and plastic shards at vehicle occupants, leading to as many as 15 deaths, including 10 in the U.S.
By Craig Trudell