Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 4, 2014 3:30am-5:31am EST

3:30 am
question. when did you start to work with takata? >> 1978 civics so you were around. so you were established with his decision was made. did any other takata employees warned takata about using ammonium nitrate propellant in the year -- the air bags? yes or no? anybody else? teeeight day warn them? >> i am not aware of that. >> so you don't know if anybody else other than the two engineers warned them this was a really bad idea? you don't know that? there are concerns about using ammonium nitrate propellant yes or no?
3:31 am
>>. >> translator: you know, who or when? >> answer the question. >> were the concerns about using ammonium nitrate as a propellant related to the execs that takata did it make it up the food chain? >> i don't know about that. >> you have a good team with you we will allow you to respond. my time is expired for i have five other questions and i will submit in writing and i would like to answer before the end of the year. i yield back. >> the gentleman from maryland your recognize five
3:32 am
minutes. >> mr. shimizu takata has agreed to the recall at its expense with respect to the driver's side and passenger side air bags within the regions where there are high absolute humidity. is that correct? >> yes. and you said a moment ago that you do not yet know the root causes of the defect for the of problem with the deployment of those air bags with respect to that regional recall? >> congressmen we have not identified the root cause yet. so what is contributing is the temperature and high
3:33 am
committee. >> i am willing to take more time so this is fine. that was a courtesy. i will give that back later some time. if you don't know the root causes then how do you know, the replacement part they were providing solves the problem? is it different enough in its design that you have confidence that the replacement does not continue to have the same problem? deal understand my question? >> yes. the current product is produced from the most recent line that was built
3:34 am
into that. so i have a quiet confidence >> so the production line the issue is you cannot identify the root cause that was part of their prior production line that created this problem you have confidence but as a result was never that problem might have then is now solved going forward? with the replacement vehicles. >> you implied that notwithstanding of the takata decision to resist a national recall that to the extent the auto
3:35 am
manufacturers on their own initiative decide to expand a recall nationally at as a practical matter we could have a national recall. even though there is some differences of opinions to the scope of that. but i take it if you on your own initiative decide to expand the recall beyond what takata agrees to you make the decision to incur the expense to get their replacement airbag and plays then down the road try to recover that? is that how works for us is how they agreed to use the recall and absorb on the front and by takata? >> for us we start and end
3:36 am
with our customers. that is the action research trying to take. it is true as industry that have been regional campaigns up to this time we will make a national safety improvement campaign but it is true we have serious but we don't know the cause. the interest is this is also why the trudeau leadership as we factures need to engage in expert third party as takata does the test. as an industry we say that it will be better for all of us to gather information more quickly it is and all of our interest to find the
3:37 am
cause of safety on the road. >> i. anderson and that honda supports the national recall on the driver's side air bag. and on the passenger side, which by the way takata does not support that on the driver's side on the passenger side but bmw does on the passenger side. although not on the driver's side? that may be because bmw is concluding there could be another problem specific to the passenger side air bags that goes beyond separate so
3:38 am
could you briefly explain played this? >> we have a unique design is unique in its design with the manufacturer from takata in 2013 the first indicator the parts were out of specification they gave us another indication to hyde committed the areas we could have a risk with the third indicator it could create the risk of additional air bag related industries not related to the rupture deflator but we have not seen one single ruptured inflator we just try to look after our, excuse me a the local campaign event we will
3:39 am
begin independent contrasting that specializes them propulsion and airbag safety we will share those results and collaborate to do the right thing. >> the gentleman's time is expired we now look at the chairman emeritus in derecognize for five minutes >> here we go live again. was not here for the opening statements but it seems like we have a of a hearing with the automobile manufacturer that they had a defective part and they would treat it as more and of day
3:40 am
manufacturing quality control but not a serious safety issue. it is ironic in this case the part that should protect the driver or the passenger was defective. we have those other technically trained on the committee but we're not safety experts we ask questions of view and leader of the teeeighteen then we cross our fingers. i am just puzzled and disappointed here we go again. so the most serious questions will be reserved for the of nhtsa questions
3:41 am
in the second panel but i would ask mr. shimizu, in the short term the saying is don't make a hole deeper. ion told by my friend said general motors there is a shortage of repair kits to do their replacements and there are a couple of gm replacements how soon do you have kits available to do the recalls for the cars we have already recalled? >> with that capacity in the b350000 pieces per month and an increase of 450,000 per month by adding two more lines. into discuss with the
3:42 am
automakers to approve the capacity and also of taking options it is physical. so we will take any action necessary to support lower speed up the replacement. >> i am just an old engineer but there are 7 million cars all in all have been recalled that 450,000 kits per month that is a year and a half for logger. is that acceptable? >> we understand issues. that is why we are discussing the capacity of the production but it takes the month to be ready for that.
3:43 am
we do everything we can do at this moment. >> what does the driver do with the vehicle in the recall that will not be repaired for another year in a half? >> i'm not trying to be rude but. >> but in the case and then at this moment to focus with the prior day. and then to catch up to the demand.
3:44 am
>> are there other manufacturers that manufacture the equivalent airbag product that you could substitute to repair the cars that have already been recalled? >> requires an additional test. >> i suggest you look at that. i assume those that have the more that have been repaired the better off you will be. i yield back. >> hi thanks though witnesses for the testimony today per gram with checketts said i felt better about the situation and when i walked into the room but i am more uncertain i have a
3:45 am
personal history because i was young senate staffer with urging the editorial legislation. i like to hear how long have you been putting airbags in your vehicles? >> since the 90's i am sure. >> i think it is the late '80s. >> is a thing. >> talk about spontaneous up the planet but the issue of today with the inflator raptures did not happen before this era within the last 10 years?
3:46 am
with the turn of the century? >> i assume there was no relevance of humidity with the malfunction of air bags prior to the turn of the century. the issue over the root cause, mr. shimizu, what possibly changed from the floor of this time period is there anything else that changed in the technology that you could reasonably attentive eye as said -- as a cause prior to this period? >> we'll understand how the
3:47 am
characteristics of ammonium nitrate. and the moisture needs to be controlled with moisture control but is no way to manage that operation. >> but we have excluded any other root cause other they and the propellant. nothing changes with technology. but regardless of this is humidity or temperature related the propellant is the only variable is that correct? we did not see that before you change propellants.
3:48 am
>> >> the cousin of this inflator so we focus but to look at this moment that is why we focus of that. >> to expand on mr. sarbanes question, you filed a safety recall a month ago involving a a defect in the air bags
3:49 am
produced in mexico. correct? >> yes. you still produce air bags that have defects in them i know the nature of that defect but it goes to the question if we can be confident that even the are replacements provided the are safe but how can you be confident those replacement parts if they are safe if you still buy them from takata? >> the specific issue happened in mexico it was many years ago.
3:50 am
but as i said from previous issues so that process is taken care of. is capable and i am confident it is there. >> of late to submit the question to the manufacturers to respond how we could be confident the equipment they are using today is safe? i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the vice chair. >> thank you. are treated on the road today safe for the airbag issue? >> every time there is a
3:51 am
safety recall and the vehicle has yet to be repaired there is always a risk. in the case of people residing with high end committee -- unity please follow the letters of instructions then they can operate the vehicle safely. >> if that is done there is enough available to be accomplished immediately? >> takata it is significantly increasing the production and there are a good amount of inflator. >> thank you. now the question to the bmws >> are they safe for the driving public today? >> we have no knowledge of any inflator rupture on any
3:52 am
bank on any side of the car. >> the same question to you you, mr. schostek. >> there are recalls a defect from honda vehicles in the past we're urging them to get those fixed then we do believe those are safe >> there are eight of their banks for those are recalled the problem could be fixed immediately? >> at the present time there is a supply of replacement parts is adequate to match the demand. it is actually causing more customers to come forward to get vehicles repaired. with that high completion rates is difficult. >> you are confident those recalls are inclusive of all of the problems?
3:53 am
>> yes, sir. >> there is not likely to be a further recall? >> there is a safety information campaign that takata has not identified the cause we want to experience that to a national campaign. there may be a time replacement parts become short that is why we also work with to a their manufacturers that there are prospects but there's not a shortage right now. maybe in the future but we are trying to do our best. >> i have in front of me the letter that takata sent in response to the letter dated yesterday from the director
3:54 am
product safety. does he work for you? in this country or the entire system? >> i find the response response, argumentative and not helpful. takata complains you only have two working days to respond with the thanksgiving holiday and how long have you known about this problem? more than two working days. >> excuse me. repeat the question. >> i find the response, the letter is not helpful and it is contentious. takata point of view that it
3:55 am
does not supply at - - supply with the innovator that is not the view of the agency that protects the american people? see you are genetically and opposition. is that accurate? pemmican i confirm? >> certainly. [inaudible conversations] >> corrected that is our
3:56 am
statement. >> i november 26 demanding the air bags with december's second you have responded in the negative. if it continues to act on it will force takata to act. that is my line of questioning related to that. we have to work more closely together to make sure the american people are safe. >> mr. harper from mississippi's. >> thanks for being here today. mr. shimizu it is a matter of safety and concern for
3:57 am
everyone as a driver, families, children those that might be impacted. the propellant that is used the ammonia nitrate base base, when did you stop using tetras all moving to ammonium nitrate? >> i am not sure exactly which year. let me confirm. >> it was more than 10 years ago? >> yes. >> late 1890's? what is the cost difference
3:58 am
first is what is used now how much does that affect the price? >> i don't think there is much difference but i don't know the actual cost. >> wasn't the first much more expensive? >> then why was the decision made to switch from one to the other if not for cost? to make the reason to change to ammonium nitrate is not the cost but because there are many other reasons. >> what is the propellant for the replacement air bags? those you manufacture now? >> the same that we used before.
3:59 am
>> blm foresees changing that propellant as you ramp up that production at 450,000 per month? >> if we have to change the materials, because of the characteristic itself we have to go through that. that is the main reason. and one more thing if i can. we continue to work on the program. >> do you believe the early effectiveness birdie believe it is another cause?
4:00 am
>> the cause is not the materials that we use but humidity control. >> i certainly like to ask questions on the approach that you have had. have been here impacted by the recall? >> but to initiate a nationwide recall toyota was the first? >> has been in effect since april 2013. >> are you providing the motor vehicles to the customers that come in? >> if that is what they desire. >> is b&w during that?
4:01 am
>> and on the? >> if the customer needs of older vehicle we provide that at no charge. >> musec there are not in a driver's side airbag issues. >> those issues are not installed with the driver's side in the united states. >> it is a different supplier? so what prompted you to start supplying insulators for testing? >> there was a preliminary evaluation opened by teeeighteen june of this year requesting all automakers to send the parts they have collected. >> what about independent
4:02 am
testing? >> we have retained a service to help us do give us more assurances under the root cause of this issue. >> with any independent testing? >> we are collecting the airbags under the regional campaign and we will make those results available. >> i yield back. >> mr. shimizu how many people die before we have a nationwide recall?
4:03 am
>> five people have died in. >> yes but how many more before you'd do what nhtsa recommends which is a nationwide recall? to have a litmus test? these are not recalls. but perhaps it is for what we have. >> it is minders year ending with those metal projectiles, led the shrapnel is that correct? >> so it is tantamount to
4:04 am
driving down the highway with the shotgun aimed at you behind the glove box not knowing which one will explode? congressman, said tingley in times and has deployed to save people from a serious injury. we have issues as we did in the past we questioned the products and also we have some concerns with high humidity.
4:05 am
>> you are confident the ones right now are safe bet rigo those on the road now possibility are not? correct? that would be covered with a nationwide recall? >> let me canfor -- confer with my attorneys. >> share. [inaudible conversations] >> the recall is to support is what we have at this moment. >> diana stood the answer
4:06 am
but those said ralph their own the road now. >> you think they are? >> yes. >> you are confident fun your testimony i have heard today that you think it is a function of heat and humidity? is that the one time situation or a compound situation? if i'll live low humidity but i want to go to a wedding in jacksonville florida should i make the trip? m i lk if i am just there for of a few days is that is
4:07 am
safe trip? >> with that compound situation and of products it has to have that high temperature and high humidity. >> if i would take a job there and me there with my airbag? if i would live there year-round then you recommend i get it fixed? >> i want to keep my family save. >> let me ask that sentiment
4:08 am
, but mr. schostek, the same question for you if i leave wyoming to go to florida for a wedding. >> she did not travel to the high-security areas with the takata airbag for short trips? garett we have had recall. >> that is not the question. i appreciate that if somebody makes the trip. >> the phenomenon of inflated ruptures is occurring in vehicles are fairly old. >> so those five deaths are older cars? >> i think the discussion of pete's in committee to
4:09 am
affect -- to affect the propellant. >> what is the latest? >> 2,000 -- to thousand four, 2,004. >> what year did the tragedy occurred? >> the most recent was the sheer in the 2004 model. therefore in the united states had one in malaysia. all of those were subject to the national vehicle -- recall. >> i appreciate that but you
4:10 am
have been a fantastic chairman. i know you have some great chapters ahead. in to all of you who are out here. to the three of you to believe is currently sufficient data for the national safety recall? >> no. >> the reference to the driver's side? we don't have those problematic if platers. >> we are taking action and to expand the safety improvement campaign.
4:11 am
we want to get more information and to help those in the industry what the defect is this important to understand that we use the words and for it to be compelling to customers but the notice satirizes the customers mailbox says your vehicle is subject to recall. bring it in. what is happening with our customers? how do they a understand? we want them to bring that vehicle to replace the inflator and do testing. we talk about engaging the
4:12 am
third-party expert engineer. we're all engineering companies. >> that the focus has to be what we can do for the customer. >> i will shift gears about recalls from high humidity states to others outside the region. with the commerce of recycled parts each day over half a million recycled parts, the same ones designed by your company's are sold by a professional recyclers. if play is an important part better readily sold from one state but then to purchase the switches it provided a
4:13 am
specific part number for the ignition switch that was critical to identify the parts do you agree that share a those numbers and other identifiable take of their safety. >> i am not sure of perugia and the accident. but i would bring up another point we're working hard state by state to stop the use of counterfeit airbags. we have had some success double-a-2 get back to you. >> and then.
4:14 am
>> i would be a happy to respond. >> accuses companies to track the recall parts? >> day un bmw have the similar buyback program like similar recyclers? >> i am not aware of that. i have to check. >> now the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida.
4:15 am
>> this is dave personal issue of safety. i am sure you will agree with that. but looking at deadly airbags as an increased risk but then it has been stated that i know that you know, that also but what measures are you taking to correctly identify customers whose vehicles were in high as humidity areas?
4:16 am
>> first of all, in terms of the region to look at the latest registration. but also snowbirds. . . by far the most of any state
4:17 am
and by far our biggest concern. there was an article in late september that inaccurately reported that honda was asking people not to contact customers. they they were misconstruing a message we had sent to our dealers. what had happened at that very same time, in the state of florida we had begun 90,000 recalls, send out 100,000 e-mails, and 76,000 postcards. thousand postcards. we are putting extra effort into locating customers and having some success with that. >> next, i would like to here. >> we have maybe half of it covered. we have a way to track the car that was bought in florida because it would be subject to the recall. i do not have an answer to how we would have a way to track a car that maybe were bought in michigan and spend
4:18 am
the other half of the year in florida. >> please work on that. >> i will. >> again, would you let a family member drive a car with a takeout airbag? i would like for you to answer that. >> of the car was subject to recall i would expect them to get it in and fixed. if the car were not subject to a recall, yes, i would let i would let my family member. i would drive a vehicle with a takata airbag. >> yes, i do. >> i would drive a bmw. >> if a family member lives in a high risk area i urge them to take the vehicle. first of all, follow the instruction letters.
4:19 am
they they can operate safely. take the vehicle. >> would you let them drive it after they went through that? would you let them drive? in other words, would you allow them to drive it or prefer that they drive it? >> after the remedy is done based on the information that takata has indicated they address the root cause, yes. >> you would trust takata? >> as i said before, we have retained an independent firm >> next question. i know i don't have much time. potential issues with the airbag as far back as 2004. 2004. a decade has passed by, a full decade. why hasn't your company been able to fix these life-threatening defects? >> congressman, every time
4:20 am
we immediately jump onto the progress and try to find root cause of issue. as soon as we identify we took care of that. >> but it has been a full decade. ten years. >> a series -- >> i don't i don't think there is any excuse for not solving the problem. >> every time we find problems we immediately take action. however,, it is true we have a series of recalls. we have different causes of problems. it is not the same problem all the time. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the gentleman from west virginia is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me try to focus a little bit on the recall notices
4:21 am
because we are not going to get success with this and less people bring their cars and. we also no that traditionally 30 30 to 40 percent of people ignore the recall notice. and if you think back a little bit about when moses came down from the mountain with ten commandments. i am concerned about how much of an emphasis is in that notice that you better give your car back in. i have two notices on my car command i have not done anything with it yet because i don't no yet whether it is a life-threatening situation i no i know that 30 to 40 percent of people ignore them. how effective is the notice? i i am just curious. what is the content of your
4:22 am
notice? is it just a good idea to bring it in? or if you don't bring it in, we are going to come after it? >> let me answer first. we have recently implemented a program. one in particular is contacting each customer by phone, emails, and follow-up terrors to urge them to bring your vehicle and. if they do not feel safe, we we will toe the vehicle to the. that that is the second program. we have improved. >> could you share with us and notice that you put out? you are doing the telephone call as well? we got ten, 12 manufacturers. could you send our office just a typical notice that when you put out the recall.
4:23 am
>> i'm just curious to see. do you do you scare them? is this a commandment or a good idea. >> you are hitting on a fundamental problem. we need to reach our customers and convince them. we are talking about all the vehicles. we will send you the notice that we send with regard to a a recall and the notice with regard to safety improvement campaign. i have looked at both of them. the request is strong. >> if you send that to me, me, i would appreciate it. let me go to another step. carfax apparently does not tell you where your car is. if i'm going to buy a used car, maybe you can educate me, but i don't believe carfax says that car came from florida. i buy the car in west virginia. am i going to get a notice
4:24 am
that there is a recall? >> if the car is recalled, we are checking our -- >> it is a yes or no. >> yes, it should. >> i will get noticed. >> if the car has ever been registered. >> it will go by the vin number. you know that car. because let's just say i bought a car in west virginia, but then i take it to florida and use it for florida and then bring it back to west virginia. who knows where that can't really car really is? >> it is a very good question. we can't sit here and provide you with a 100 percent assurance. we do check registration information in the various states. but it but it is an area we need to work harder at. >> what about bmw, toyota?
4:25 am
from a mechanical standpoint how are we checking this? >> a similar answer i gave. we have it in the car. we have a campaign in florida. that vehicle identification number. the other way around, it's more difficult. we will try to get to the bottom of that. >> let me ask the final question, if i have a concern about my car, and i have not received a recall notice and i take it to a dealer, i am just uncomfortable. i see across the nation there have been deaths. deaths. i would like to have my about replaced. what does a dealer do? sure. i will take care of it
4:26 am
next week. you week. you don't fit the profile. therefore we won't replace it. if that is the case where is the liability? >> congressman, we have instructed our dealers that we want our customers to be taking care of and to be comfortable. if if they are concerned we have loaner cars available. just just this week, congressman, i requested our service division to contract each and every vehicle. we have more than 1300. contact them individually and in short the treatment the customers are getting is up to our expectations. we expect our dealers to accommodate our customers. >> not been recalled. >> the individual needs at no cost to the owner. >> thank you. i yield back my time.
4:27 am
>> the chair to recognize the gentleman from ohio 45 minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to also give my thoughts to you as you make this transition. it has been great serving with you on this committee, and i wish you the absolute best. i want to get into the manufacturing. i came prior to coming to congress i worked for an automotive supplier. we made electronic components. some of some of the plants were located near where some of your plants are located. we understand that their are five inflator types that have been subjected to these recalls. in terms of producing replacement kits for those that have to be replaced,, ken takata simultaneously
4:28 am
produce new inflator's for each type as well as replacement kits for each type simultaneously? >> congressman, most of the case each type of inflator has their own exclusive line. line. so the answer is, yes, they can do it. >> along these same lines, our passenger and driver airbag inflator is produced on the same line or on separate lines? >> passenger inflator would produce different but from the same plant. >> same plan but different lines. >> yes. >> okay. >> does an increase in the production of replacement parts, driver-side replacement parts affect your ability to produce passenger airbag inflator's?
4:29 am
>> could you repeat your question? >> does an increase in the production of driver-side airbags affect your ability to produce passenger bags? >> correct. >> okay. all right. for our folks at honda, what analysis -- and i saw the press release about the analysis that you are going to be doing, i think if i have it right here honda today called for a coordinated industrywide third-party testing of takata airbag inflator's with the goal of ensuring all the airbags that require replacement are accurately identified and fixed as quickly as possible. what analysis did honda
4:30 am
undergo,, if any, and was it independent? have you done any independent analysis today to determine if a recall of the airbags is necessary? were the inflator's, rather. >> rather. >> thank you, congressman. we need to separate the recall decision versus testing. the recall decision that we make is based on information that we receive with regard to manufacturing. they told us what the manufacturing defects were. we did not blindly accept their analysis. our engineers looked at it. based upon that we have affected recalls over time. with regard to to the current problem, trying to understand is there a defect and what could be the contributing cause?
4:31 am
we began independent testing recently but were appreciative that others in the industry, we were able to announce yesterday that many of us are coming together to share information. we we still have high expectations to continue to do testing, but i can speak for honda. we feel a need to validate that and see what else we can come up with using an expert third-party engineering. >> just real quick, we no that at least some of the data has indicated that humidity, temperature, climate has had an effect on these inflator's. are you folks doing testing on virtually every climate scenario in america? the different regions of the country? and seasonal because it changes from season to
4:32 am
season and region to region. region. are you looking at things other than humidity, like dryness, whatever? >> a very good question. the answer, i can't go as far as to say every climactic condition because that would be going a little too far,, but we are testing from the humid areas and others. the purpose of a good engineering study is to have a different sample to look at. that is what we are doing. >> i am prepared to yield back, but let me make this statement. coming from an automotive supplier, and i appreciate your candor, but i think it is a little shortsighted to say we can't test for all the different climate conditions. if conditions. if we already no they are affected by humidity, for god sakes, we don't no what other climate situations affect the inflator's as well, and i think we need to get to the bottom of that.
4:33 am
with that, i yield back. >> thank you. the gentleman from texas, doctor burgess. >> thank you for letting me be here. i am anxious to here from our next witness. >> thank you. there there has been a request from the full community chair. therefore by my set of rules >> suppose another question. you know, there has been a number of different articles that have been written over the last number of weeks regarding secret tests. i am looking to find i give you this for the record. a cnbc story that reads the japanese manufacturer, takata, secretly conducted tests on 50 airbags it retrieved from scrap yards according to two former employees, one of whom was a senior member of the testing
4:34 am
lab. results were so startling engineers began developing a possible fix. instead of alerting safety regulators the discounted the results. dispose of the airbag inflator is in the trash. they have reported similar stories. this particular story indicates that a honda spokesman last week on thursday, chris martin from honda said this is a serious allegation about actions taken by takata. it is our intention to determine whether anyone at honda has any evidence to see whether these claims are credible. more disturbing, of course,
4:35 am
is the takata spokesperson who declined to comment on the disclosure of testing. so if so if i could just here from takata and honda briefly, if you would like to respond in writing, you can. i am truly troubled by these stories, which is what helped lead us to this hearing today. we will be asking similar questions. i asked for the indulgence of the community to get a response. >> you mentioned mr. martin, a honda representative quote in their. we are continuing to work and to see if we have any reason to add any credibility to that. as i sit here, i cannot. we will continue to look, but i don't no of any honda awareness of that testing. >> the story indicates the testing was done in auburn hills in michigan about the time that we were doing the
4:36 am
trade act which was a pretty big story in michigan. >> my response to your question is, first, we don't conduct any secret test. however, we conducted a series of test in 2,004. we have some issues that happened. actually, the ones who founded during a test. informed automakers and request us to do a series of test. we conducted a series of tests because we don't use any inflator's from junkyard either. that is inaccurate. the fact fact is, we did conduct a series of tests. and actually, they know
4:37 am
about it. after we finish the test we found the cause, which is abrasion that created -- caused which was reported back to automakers. and automaker and up to do the actual recall later. >> when was it reported? >> i believe during 2,004. i believe i believe it is from automakers because they have to do the recall. november 2004x if you could confirm that in writing before the end of the week we would certainly appreciate it. >> yes, we can get back to the subcommittee by the end of this week. yes. >> i yield back.
4:38 am
>> one additional question. >> another news report from november in the new york times reported that after 2,000 -- after a 2,004 airbag rupture your company reached a nonpublic settlement agreement with the injured party and also reported that you reached nonpublic settlement agreements after three airbag ruptures in 2,007. i i am just wondering how many settlements like that their are and if you are required to inform the public about these nonpublic settlements. >> thank you for the question. there certainly are settlements and lawsuits that are not unusual in our
4:39 am
legal system. with regard to these airbag inflator's we have made them aware. we do not intend to find the confidentiality of legal settlements is part of our system. that is not a reason to cover up any safety information. we are providing safety information. >> in all of these particular cases you did also give the information? >> we provided information about all inflator ruptures. >> in a timely way, 2,004, 2,007? >> let me just be clear because their are two ways. we have been sharing all information about inflator's. we have fallen short on our trade obligations. eight out of the 1700
4:40 am
related to takata airbag inflator's. did did we report those? the answer to that is no. but that information was had it did not in our view hinder the process of continuing to investigate, as we have been. >> so these legal settlements have nothing to do, you are saying, with the actual reporting of the problem? >> congresswoman, what i am saying is we have shared information about takata inflator ruptures. >> okay. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, and that does conclude the questions for our first panel. as panel.
4:41 am
as discussed throughout, there were mentions of written questions. we want to let the panel no that it is likely you we will have questions, written questions submitted to you. we will do our best to get those to you in a timely manner which always means a couple of weeks. if you if you could likewise then answer them within a couple of weeks we would greatly appreciate that. this panel, thank you you for your contribution in helping us better understand obviously this committee is dedicated to making sure that the people that are driving vehicles are as safe as they can possibly be. i think you share that as well. i appreciate your time here today. you are dismissed.
4:42 am
>> and i think it looks like we are set, acting administrator, mr. friedman, i appreciate you being here. i hope i hope you enjoyed the last couple hours of testimony. now you are recognized for your five minutes. and welcome. >> is the microphone on? >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member,, members of the subcommittee. thank you for inviting me to testify about the serious issue of safety defects in takata airbags. airbags. over 10 million vehicles across ten automakers have been recalled because of inflator's that can rupture. more. more than half of these are part of all the recalls associated with known
4:43 am
manufacturing problems and for related deaths that have occurred in the united states. excuse me. i apologize. thank you. many of these vehicles have already been repaired, but many have not. that is why we alerted consumers this year to bring vehicles in for repairs. recalls are serious safety issues, and vehicle recall completion rates remain far too low. i encourage all owners to find out if there vehicle needs to be repaired under these or any existing recall in addition to the efforts to help consumers, industry must step up. automakers must do a a better job to aggressively reach out to
4:44 am
consumers, and they must report all information required. dealers have to check the numbers for open recalls every time a vehicle is brought in for service. the administration proposes rental car companies should never be allowed to rent or sell a vehicle without fixing them first. congress will provide help to states to implement programs directly linking implementation with the repair of open recalls. now i want to address the latest. we moved to moved to open an investigation based upon consumer complaints from three different manufacturers. we connected the dots. takata was the common supplier, and all were from florida and puerto rico. we reached out and discovered three additional ruptures. the airbags that these were similar inflator's are used by several more manufacturers.
4:45 am
initial data sgested that the defect in the driver and passenger airbags were related to prolonged exposure to high heat and humidity. within days of opening an investigation we obtained recalls in areas of demonstrated risk from manufacturers with the same or similar inflator's. automakers responded and declared defects based on a handful a handful of incidents, and thankfully there were no reported deaths. our policy is clear. vehicle recalls are nationwide areas we have denied and will continue to deny requests for regional recalls unless the manufacturer provides solid information indicating that the risk is regionally limited. the the data we had at the time was compelling, and we wanted the manufacturers to quickly recall the vehicle,, but that was far from the end of our efforts.
4:46 am
we are actively looking into other claims of injury or death to determine if they could be related. we refused we refused to wait until someone else got hurt. we had takata began testing airbags from vehicles across the country. the tests have provided data supportive of the regional recall approach for passenger-side airbags, but when we quickly connected a more recent driver-side injury in north carolina to one in california, as you can see in this chart, and others that did happen in florida we acted. i called on takata and the vehicle manufacturers with driver-side airbags with the same or similar inflator's to expand the recall nationwide. it is time for industry to step up. we learned last night that takata has refused to issue an nationwide notice of the
4:47 am
defect. until they and and automakers act affected drivers will not be protected. we are now engaged in a detailed review of the takata response and will follow-up with all appropriate steps to ensure takata and automakers protect the driving public nationwide. ..
4:48 am
each hour, more than 200 americans are injured in traffic crashes. at way work each day that so these are tragic reminders of the importance of our effort and how we must build on our many successes and continue to work hard and even harder to protect the american public. the case of defective takata airbags is no different to let me be clear to you. we will continue our aggressive efforts to protect americans from defective takata airbags. we have acted swiftly and based on the evidence and we will continue to do so. if we find any evidence of wrongdoing those responsible will be held accountable. thank you. >> thank you for your testimony.
4:49 am
now i will recognize myself for five minutes to start the questions. so bluntly, does nhtsa believe that humidity is the problem? >> it is clear that humidity is one of the factors and clearly it's a major factor when it comes to passenger side airbags. when it comes to driver side airbags we have all the evidence and the evidence is clear that the problem is not limited to areas of very high absolute humidity. >> all right so takata believes that a national recall of driver side airbags is unnecessary. can you explain with some level of specificity why he nhtsa now disagrees in light of the fact that nhtsa had initially called for regional action? >> mr. chairman first of all i was deeply disappointed by takata's responsive value to take responsibility for the defect in their product, for the
4:50 am
defect in their products. a fundamental explanation as we have all the data. initially all of the incidents that occurred in the real world for passenger and driver side airbags occurred in florida and puerto rico. when we expanded the texting and pushed takata to do the testing the same held for true for the s as can see in the start over here however when we so real-world -- on the driver side in california we pushed honda to make sure that the recall covered that region. then very recently we became aware of a driver-side incident in north carolina. with six total incidence two of which are outside that region we can no longer support a regional recall. our policy is clear. recalls must be nationwide in less than manufactures can demonstrate that they are regional. with the new data it is clear
4:51 am
they can no longer demonstrate the region that was used before was appropriate for driver-side airbags. >> specifically the cars that you referenced, north carolina and the california and santa monica area, what is the level of absolute humidity there and this is so different that you can say backing up what you are saying is that it needs to go to a more national level. >> if you could put up chart b over here. what char d is data from noaa indicating the annual dewpoint temperature and dewpoint temperature's basically measure the total amount of water in the air or the absolute humidity. as you can see the brown areas are where we saw initially all the evidence and then we start to see some passenger incidents in the red areas. the new incidents in californi
4:52 am
california -- north carolina, pardon me are roughly around the edge of the yellow and green areas clearly indicating that they are outside of the areas of the regional recalls and areas of lower humidity. >> well in this sense, this is why this issue is particularly difficult to get my mind around. so the issue is the absolute humidity, what caused the defect in california and north carolina are those? >> mr. chairman you are asking the exact same questions we are asking. when the most frustrating parts about this is not that they automakers nor takata have been able to get to the bottom of the recalls on this. we have been pushing them to do so. we are also working and hope to within a week higher outside expertise to begin standing up
4:53 am
our own testing capabilities so we can supplement the work they are doing but they are responsible legally for getting to the bottom of this. we have person to do so including requiring under oath to force them to do so. but between the root cause on, driver-side is not clear and it's clear that it's outside of the areas of high temperature and high human attend the fact we have six total incidence is clear to us the regional recall is no longer appropriate for driver-side airbags. >> very good. i appreciate that. so in regard to the humanity aspect the three automakers testified that they believe it is -- humidity is the root cau cause. i don't have the level of competence and math. the state said they are going to hire a third party independent
4:54 am
inspection whether it is related to the humidity or something else. so my question very quickly answer, do you believe that as well, that a third-party independent inspectors absolutely necessary? >> i believe we need to put all resources forward to address this issue but also let me be clear a root cause is not required for recall. all that is required for recall is an unreasonable risk to safety and that is clear on the driver-side that there's an unreasonable risk to safety outside of the areas of the high humidity and temperature. >> i agree with the latter part but the reality for the consumer is at the root causes identified that can have confidence that it would solve the problem by putting in an airbag? >> we share your concern we will evaluate the adequacy of the remedies and make sure the american public is safe. >> thank you. i recognize the ranking member
4:55 am
chairwoman schakowsky. >> thank you mr. chairman. on november 25 nhtsa issued a recall request letter to takata acknowledging as you just said that there's a safety related defect regarding the driver-side airbags. i wanted to know why is it to takata alone either instead of or in addition to the manufactures? why isn't nhtsa issued recall request letters to the automakers demanding that the they. >> ranking member on the weber 17th i called on takata and followed up the next day and called on the manufactures to recall these vehicles. i vehicles. animated purple demand to them. the reason why we put a written demand to takata is because once takata does the right thing and agrees to this it doesn't matter
4:56 am
what the automakers do. there's a clear statement of defect about the automakers must recall those vehicles. what we are looking to do is to get these vehicles recalled as quickly as possible. >> understand that but takata has said no to you. he would seem to me since that was their option that it would make sense to go to the automakers as well. >> we are evaluating takata's response. we will work to pushed takata and the automakers to recall these vehicles nationwide. i noted the action by honda today then clear and promising action but clearly also not enough. much more needs to be done and we will push in use all our authority to pushed takata in the manufactures to address it. >> what is your authority now the takata is. >> our authority under the safety act as her next step would be to issue an initial decision of the defect and then
4:57 am
we would hold a public hearing giving takata the opportunity to provide any evidence they have so far as they have not provided any compelling evidence. we would give get the same opportunities to the automakers. after that hearing we would weigh all the evidence and make a final determination. >> how long would that take? >> i cannot tell you yet because we have just gotten material. >> order of magnitude how long? >> order of magnitude before the hearing certainly could be multiple weeks in multiple months. >> let me ask you a question about your climate map. the darkest part there is florida but there's also texas and yet on the original regional recall he didn't include any part of texas. why is that? >> all of the original incidents occurred in florida or puerto rico until florida and puerto rico were included in those
4:58 am
regions. this chart doesn't show all the gradation in humidity levels. that said we have pushed all of the automakers involved to cover the same region at least the same region not just in florida and puerto rico but all around the gulf coast to ensure not that just the darkest colors included that there is a significant buffer zone outside of the darkest area. >> understand. i was just curious if you think at least humidity is a key factor that why the first choices wouldn't be those areas of highest humidity in your initial recall. >> it was because all of the data pointed to incidents in initially the more southern parts of florida and puerto rico. so we went with the initial data but as we got more data we acted quickly to make sure that the recalls were expanded.
4:59 am
i was one of the benefits of th. we started seeing failures outside of that area and that made may clear to us the evidence was a need for broader recall. every time the evidence has pointed to a broader recall we have pushed industry to act on that evidence. >> i want to go to another topic. you know are ranking member of the full committee waxman and i have introduced new auto safety legislation this year which among other things would improve the early warning reporting system. requiring manufacturers to provide more information make you more information public. maybe i will just put this in writing. if you could briefly describe how the early warning reporting system works. if you could provide us that information would be great. >> we will do so. >> thank you.
5:00 am
the chair recognizes mr. upton for five minutes. >> thank you and welcome back mr. friedman. so you have seen these reports and the one i cited earlier in "usa today." as you try to connect the dots as the stories have emerged, what have you done as it relates to going back to takata and whether or not did they really do bees and were they off hours and weekends? what did they do at the evidence and how did that comply? i don't know if there is enough evidence. i'm not a lawyer, enough evidence to go back and see a if there was actually someone liable for criminal sanction and what is your response behind the scenes to what has been reported
5:01 am
publicly? >> mr. chairman we took two steps. first of all we looked into all of our information but second of all we issued a special order to takata compelling them under oath to provide us with all the information on any testin testit they have done. >> have a too? have they reported that yet? >> they have provided their submission as of december 1 in my team -- we have limited data to get to the bottom of this. i share your concerns. we saw these reports with the quickly to make sure we can get to the bottom of this. >> so since he only reported back monday will you be able to share with us what they submitted? >> we will be more than happy to brief you on the committee on what we find. >> what has been your response to the underreporting of 1700
5:02 am
some cases by honda and how url are supposed to function? >> my personal response was shock and frustration that honda has failed so significantly to follow the tread act. again we issued a special order to honda to get to the bottom of this and to push them to discover not only the 1700 failures but what other failures are associated with their reporting of early warning data and information. our team has gotten back that information also recently. we are digging through that information. they have basically admitted their guilt. now the question we are trying to determine is how many different ways did they fail and how many different ways might we have to consider fining them to the full extent of a lot of? >> have you communicated with the other auto companies in
5:03 am
terms of what honda did to make sure the other companies have not followed that type of pattern? >> we have two steps along those lines. my expectation is you would have asked me that exact same question so today i'm calling on each and every automaker to do a audit of their early-morning report to provide that information to us to ensure they can demonstrate that to us. we are we are looking at other measures potentially compelling them to provide such information but i think every automaker should take the responsible step right now and doing their own audit to determine and insure very are are properly following the tread and if not report that information to us and fix the problem. >> you indicated in your testimony that you have been responsible for takata's testing. if you determined by quadrupling
5:04 am
that rate that would be sufficient in the data to understand the current problems? >> no. in fact i was very encouraged to hear or personally pushed takata to do more. second i was encouraged to hear toyota, ford and honda agreed to do additional testing. further we should in general order to each and every automaker involved to require them to provide us with all the information we have on testing. we are trying to push the entire industry to ramp up their testi. we are also working to stand up test facilities of our own so we can verify the work that they are doing. >> i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the full committee ranking member mr. waxman. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. on november 18 nhtsa announced it was calling on takata and
5:05 am
automakers to extend the current regional recall a defective driver side airbags to a national recall. this extends the recall and airbag failures that occur outside of the high humidity areas covered by the regional recall. mr. friedman have you determined that humidity is no longer a key factor were contributing factor to the rushers of these airbags and have you determined that consumers outside of high humidity regions are potentially in danger for raptures? >> regarding passenger side airbags all the data points to high temperature and high humidity over long periods of time. on the driver side airbags while humanity may keep intruding factor it's now clear based on the evidence that is not simply the dominant factor which is why we have called on them and made clear to them while we accept regional recalls where the evidence supports it the evidence no longer support a
5:06 am
recall limited to those previous areas. >> in september ranking member schakowsky introduced a bill that requires all recalls occur on a national basis. mr. friedman cars are mobile and often move state to state. can you commit to reevaluate the procedure that allows for regional recalls based on climate or environmental conditions? >> ranking member each and everyday we are looking at how we can do more and do better for the american public. this issue is cost caused to continue to look into this iss issue. >> mr. freeman -- friedman testm 2500 airbags collected from the regional recalls a safety improvement campaigns. these results are a bit perplexing. they show no raptures from the driver side airbags but they show more than 60 ruptures of passenger side airbags.
5:07 am
in the case of one auto manufacturer with one type of airbag one of every eight airbags from southern florida airbags rupture during test. can you help us understand why nhtsa has a national recall in the driver side airbags but has not done so with the passenger side airbag even those takata test results show higher risks to this airbags? >> if you look at chart a the red dots are multiple cases during the testing of where there have been failures in passenger side airbags. each and every one of the failures in the real world and in testin testing have all happn areas of high temperature high humidity consistent exposure to those areas. in this case we must follow the data and the data on the passenger side clearly indicates that the problem is in those areas. that said our investigation is far from over.
5:08 am
we are pushing for additional y evidence indicating that the problem is broader we will act and we will act quickly to protect the american public. >> the issue with the driver side airbags a different issue than with the passenger side airbags? what's the difference that makes you confident in calling for national recall only on the driver side. >> where following the data and that's the basis for decision. we do know there are design differences between passenger side and driver side airbags. but let me airbags. the let me be clear estacada and automakers indicated they have not yet gotten to the water -- bottom of the root cause of this issue. that's a critical step we are pushing for when we are involved in because getting to the root cause will help dramatically clarified things for consumers automakers suppliers in the actions that each and everyone must take. that's a critical step that we will continue to push ourselves and the industry to get to the
5:09 am
bottom of this. it's one of the reasons why we are now looking to get under contract hopefully within a we week. an expert in propellants and airbag production and design to begin at the edit expertise on top of the experts we have to get to to the bottoms as quickly as possible. we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts. >> honda failed to report 1729 serious accidents resulting in injuries and deaths to nhtsa between 2003 and 2014. eight of these incidents involve takata airbags. can you explain how this information could have been used by nhtsa if honda reported it like it was supposed to and did nhtsa penalize honda for this failure to report? in your view would increasing the penalties help ensure manufacturers report the information that they are supposed to? >> ranking member of the way we use all of the early warning
5:10 am
information is to spot trends and spot pieces where there are potential defects. any time an automaker fails to provide that information it leaves us hamstrung in our abilities to find a problem quicker and get the problems fixed sooner. we are, what are the things we are determining right now based on honda's admission of their failure and information are provided as to what degree penalties are appropriate but i can assure you we will hold them accountable to the full extent of the law. that's at issue indicate her maximum penalty is only $35 million. for too many car companies that's pocket change. that needs to change. the president and secretary have called for the maximum penalty to be increased to at least $300 million so it will send a much clear message. it worked over the last six years and find automakers more than $160 billion using your authority.
5:11 am
or than any as before but it's clear to us that we need a bigger standard. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. waxman and i now recognize the vice-chairman mr. lance for five minutes. cnet thank you very much mr. chairman. i'm interested in the timeframe moving forward and in answer to congresswoman schakowsky's question is that it might be weeks or months and i'd like more specifics on that. your november 26 letter there was a response on december 2 which you fundamentally disagree than i would imagine i disagree as well. what is your next step? >> thank you vice chairman thank you vice chairman parent next step ended back my team began once received the information from takata on monday on special order in yesterday in response to her recall demand. we are digging into that data.
5:12 am
where marshaling our evidence. >> the argument in the three-page response that they gave you? >> that is the extent of their argument. >> it is rather weak tea in my judgment. selected timeframe because the american people need to be assured that their automobiles are safe and what is your next step? >> our next step after evaluating that information would be to issue an initial decision of the defect to takata and the automakers. after that we would hold a public hearing. >> how soon can you initiate that? >> as soon as humanly possible. vice chairman because we want to protect the american people we need to make sure that we build a stronger case possible because at the end of the day if takata in the automakers continue to refuse had we will have to take them to court. we want to make sure we have a case prepared that will win. >> you can build a court case over time so can you estimate
5:13 am
for the committee and through the committee to the american people when your next step will continue? >> would have arctic begun our next step of evaluating the data. >> that doesn't answer my question. the next legal step, not just diving into the data. when will you next do something officially regarding takata in the automakers? >> vice chair i apologize i can get in exact estimate. my team is working as quickly as possible and it could be weeks, could be once but it certainly won't be many months of it is. i could see something happening. >> would the it occurs by the first of february and i would hope sooner than that and then what happens? >> we will hold a hearing. >> the hearing has to be held in what timeframe? >> the safety act does not establish the specifics. >> is at 45 days or 30 days?
5:14 am
>> we will not have that. >> for mars perspective time is of the up and essence and what happens after that? >> if the evidence still points to the need for broader recall we will issue a final determination. that will compel takata in the automakers act. if they feel back then we will have to work with the justice department to bring them to court and force that action. >> if the justice department brings takata essentially and manufacturers to court. >> i would have to get back to you on the exact exact process that my understanding is yes we would work with the justice department. >> this is a civil action? >> i believe that is the case, yes. >> do you recall -- refer situations for criminal prosecution? >> under certain circumstances be allowed this -- they a lot does allow it. >> under the tread act is that
5:15 am
refer to doj for civil action or criminal action or for both? >> we have the authority and we expect honda frankly to come in and agreed to a significant penalty associated with that. we won't have to move to the justice department on that. >> thank you mr. chairman and i yield back the bells of my time. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from mississippi mr. yarbro for five minutes. >> mr. friedman was a reasonable period of time to notify someone? >> automakers are required by law to notify nhtsa within five days of determining a defect or five days of when when they should've known it was a defect in under regulation they have no more than 60 days to get a letter like this into the hands of consumers notifying them that this is an important safety recall and they must take
5:16 am
action. that said even have 60 days to me is longer than i would like to see which is why we have a tool that every american can go to have safer and even before you receive these recall notices you will be alerted whether or not there's an open recall for your vehicle. you can also sign up for added alerts from her app. >> is important for the driving public and passengers in those vehicles to know when there's a safety issue. >> it's critically important. any recall is an unreasonable risk to safety. automakers must act quickly to inform consumers and consumer should act quickly to get their vehicles repaired. >> explain to me how it is that that's a new honda reported in 2012 get delayed doing anything about that? >> in 2012 we became aware of the limited number of underreporting.
5:17 am
>> limited click 1700. is that a limited number? we are talking about time limits being important. >> at the time we were only, was only recently that we became aware of the 1700 problems. based on that we pushed honda to follow standard process which is to update their records. once we found out the problem was bigger we went after honda and we force them under oath to provide his extensive information. we will hold them accountable for their failures. >> nothing was really done at that point in those eight were important to the eight incidents involved were they not? >> they were important and we made sure once we discovered that honda reported that information to us we could act on it. at the end of the day the safety of the american public is always her top priority and making sure we have that information was critical. >> it sounds good but it doesn't seem that was exactly the case in 2012.
5:18 am
alas mr. friedman at the november commerce hearing you said it's a notch of plan authorizing disabling airbag parts and telling consumers not to put someone in that passenger seat. is its nhtsa's acknowledgment of this approach and endorsement should it be for all manufactures and vehicles of passenger side vehicles subject to recall? >> the first and foremost greater should be getting those airbags fixed. >> i understand but is this acknowledgment that this is the appropriate plan until you can get a replacement? >> if the parts are unavailable in the vehicle doesn't have a -- that would disable those airbags then yes it's clearly an appropriate step to take an interest of safety. >> as the nation's top highway safety traffic official can you tell the subcommittee that you
5:19 am
will put into writing the legally policy and sell replacement parts are available or is that already and riding? >> it has been part of our standard process. if a part is broken that an automaker can disable it without facing legal penalties and we made that clear to the automakers involved. >> as i written a formal policy by nhtsa? >> no. smack will become one? >> we will investigate that. >> you were in here for the testimony on the first panel, correct? >> yes. >> did you hear when mr. shimizu with takata discussed manufacturing versus design and classify this as a manufacturing issue. do you believe it's a manufacturing problem or design problem or do not know at this point? >> i would argue his testimony was inconsistent because a square the industry is not clear on the root cause of the problem
5:20 am
which is why we are pushing to get to the bottom of it. >> i know you don't know yet but do you believe the propellant is the prime suspect right now? >> it's clear that other manufactures use the same propellant. we are looking to determine whether there've been raptures associate with us. so far we have not found it. if there are no ruptures it's an indication that if you have a good design and a good manufacturing the propellant may on its own be but clearly no matter what if you don't have a perfect design and you don't have the appropriate manufacturing you have failed to live up to your responsibility. >> even previous takata scientists indicated early that inning and ammonium nitrate base is not a good idea. you agree that? >> we are asking the same questions which is why we have asked for all information from takata, what changes they have
5:21 am
made and bringing in outside expertise. who has had experience with these propellant. >> thank you mr. friedman. my friedman. my time has expired and i yield back. >> does mr. burgess was to ask any questions? >> thank you mr. chairman. i would appreciate the ability to ask questions. >> thank you for the courtesy of your recognition. administrator friedman thank you for being here. obviously we have had a chance to interact on other subcommittees and other worlds particularly with the cobalt ignition problem earlier this year. let me ask you a question. mr. office post a question in his time running short city said he asked for the answer in writing in the question was basically is a confident that they are placement airbags or
5:22 am
save so let me pose a question to you. there's her recall going on in various manufactures are providing replacement parts. to the extent can the public be reassured that these replacement parser indeed save? >> we believe the replacement parts for the passenger side are safer. the data points to the median time of 10 years before the failures have occurred. that said we are looking into the adequacy of this remedy. if we determine it is not adequate and doesn't ensure the safety of the american public we will push them to take other steps. this ties back to the root cause question. getting to the root cause is part of the key of determining the appropriateness and effectiveness. >> i would point out there's more than a semantic difference between safe and safer. >> i agree and i use that term intentionally because we are still looking into the adequacy.
5:23 am
our job is to protect the american public and if the american public can't provide airbags that are safer i truly believe that's the right step because i can save lives. >> let me ask a question because your hotel with the propellant that and that is come up several times this morning. the fact is the propellant is change from the 90s in the last decade. currently our there are ongoing studies to look at the types of propellant and in fact our there are save propellant set out to be considered? >> we are where of the industry looking out propellants. the formulation of their propellant, that's one of the reasons as we learn more about that would compel them to provide all the information under those most of those changes. we have been reaching out. >> and i stop you there for a second?
5:24 am
i don't want to project but in many ways the answers provided by takata are less than forthcoming in an i don't know if is just me that's picked up on that but do you have similar concerns? >> i share your concerns and that is why we required them to answer questions under oath because now it's not just their word that's at stake, it's much more because we can penalize them where they can be held more broadly responsible if they lie under oath. we are not simply trusting takata. we are in conversations with multiple other airbag suppliers and bringing in outside expertise on this propellant because we agree with you. we cannot simply trust the information pier waiting to make sure we are covering all of our bases to get to the bottom of this for the safety of the american public. >> let me go back to something that mr. lance and mr. waxman's brother. many years ago this committee
5:25 am
and the committee on energy and commerce was doing in investigation in acceleration of vehicles in 2009. ultimately, and in response to mr. -- mr. waxman in that instance there was over and above that there was some action by the department of justice. at this point are you contemplating an additional referral to the department of justice on anything that you have uncovered in this investigation and? >> we have been cooperating with the department of justice and helping them in their effort since september. >> so that is off the table as far as to future action would be considered? >> by understanding is the department of justice is looking into the matter and i would direct you to infer additional comment. >> i appreciate that but
5:26 am
certainly when that occurred the acceleration issue while i might agree that your ability to find is limited certainly it seems to be a fairly significant legal mistake that you had at your disposal and a tool that might be useful and compelling cooperation. >> fundamentally it was discovered that toyota lied to us. we got to the bottom of that problem, determine the problem and got those vehicles recalled. that said we find them not just once but multiple times and in that case we work closely with the justice department in an effort that ultimately led to fines of more than $1 billion. see back for the record i didn't mention the manufacture, you did not have to be clear. mr. chairman i appreciate it and i yield back. >> thank you. i recognize the gentleman from
5:27 am
maryland for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. i does have a question about your compassion is an agency and whether you feel that you have the resources you need to do the job and what your capacity currently is in terms of reinforcing public disclosure and urging greater transparency and looking at this particular incident that we are investigating and we are having testimony on today would enhance capacity, additional staff dedicated to the office of defect investigations to the early warning reporting and so forth. but that of assisted irritants in the simpsons and more broadly if he could speak to your capacity that would be helpful. >> the straightforward answer is yes.
5:28 am
we are an agency that i would argue punches well above our weight. over the last decade our efforts have led to the recall of nearly 1 million vehicles but it is also clear when you have a fleet of over 260 million vehicles and multiple manufacturers, multiple potential safety issues that we need more resources to ensure we can do everything we can to keep the american public safe. the president's budget has continued to request additional resources both for office of defects investigation but also for the rest of our agency. congressman 33,561 people died in 2012. 33,561 tragic lives lost because of issues such as drunk driving, people not wearing their seatbelt, vehicles that could've had more technology aboard to keep them safer. there's no doubt in my mind that with more resources we can do more to address the epidemic
5:29 am
that faces americans in terms of fatalities and injuries every year on our roads. >> i would imagine those resources would help you chase information on the front end and would get you to a place of pushing for solutions as well as not having to maybe triaged or prioritize in ways once you have gotten the information in because you have the capacity to address a number of these things simultaneously. i appreciate your providing that testimony and let them mr. chairman i yield back. >> thank you and if no other members are requesting time that concludes your testimony and questions and this committee as you know we can submit written questions to you. i would expect that. we'll try to be timely and request your office be timely and providing us responses to
5:30 am
those questions. thank you. you were very informative. we like charts. some nice job with the visual aids. now do we have any other closing remarks? a quick note before we adjourn here is that this subcommittee and full committee bipartisan way have concerns about the role mr. plays in continuing these continual large-scale recalls and i hope that nhtsa will fully cost free with the gao is gao carries out the bipartisan request to look at these internal procedures and processes. >> mr. chairman we will definitely corporate and i look forward to working with the committee in


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on