I work in the industry and the OEM's have strict specifications that must be met along with the quoted price for all products. If a supplier (Takata in this case) gives the OEM test data supporting that their product meets all the specs at the quoted price, how is the OEM responsible? If the OEM's test specifications are too weak, then I would agree. It has been reported that in this case that the supplier lied about the performance of their products and this is why some executives have been charged.
Sorry to dampen the corporate bashing, but we all benefit by the constant pressure OEM's and suppliers put on themselves and each other to continually improve features and performance while simultaneously lowering costs. Look at the features in a 2017 Mustang compared to a 1967 Mustang. In 50 years the advancements have been incredible, and this doesn't come without a lot of pressure and pushing from many sides.
The airbags themselves are not the problem, it's the inflators. The supply of replacement inflators is coming from Takata and other suppliers.
I have worked in the industry as well, for nearly 3 decades.
No, I am not sure what test data was given initially, but from what I understand they carefully omitted certain results giving a better appearance. My problem lies in that all the other companies that bid told the manufactures it was a physical impossibility to produce at that cost. All but one, so they just jumped on board,
I have read transcripts that are very clear that true false info only flowed from Takata once the deaths started coming. I personally feel the manufactures had all they needed, but chose to look away.
No, I do not agree we always benefit by bean counters cheapening everything. I don't feel that had a thing to do with Ford building the performance car we have today. If anything it would have been better. Performance, and better fuel economy drove the Coyote, not the cheapest of the cheap vendors. Yes competition, better products, low cost is crucial, but always taking the cheap way (which is what it was, especially in a pure safety component) is not the best course of action, nor what really drives innovation as you paint it.
Actually the problem lies with the chemicals they decided to use for the inflators. In high heat and humidity they explode with a lot more force. Strikingly just as every other manufacturer of airbags told Ford, and the other car builders said they would at that cost. Well all but one company, Takata.
A good read https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.42c8c6ecde2e