The rallying cry when faced with a fight that might require court resolution is, "Lawyer up!" When you're about to fight Congress, that cry turns into, "Lobby up!" That's what Takata has done, according to a report from Bloomberg, upping its spending on lobbyists by 22 percent in the second quarter. In Q1, the Japanese airbag supplier responsible for tens of millions of recalled vehicles around the world spent a total of $320,000 on lobbyists; in Q2 that increased to $390,000.

Two lobbying firms received the $320,000: Takata paid $300,000 to Squire Patton Boggs, which it hired in December 2014, while Takata Supplier Systems paid Washington Alliance $20,000. After letting Washington Alliance go earlier this year, every cent of this latest spend went to Squire Patton Boggs.

Checking out Takata's expenditures on Open Secret, an organization that tracks lobbying money, offers insight into how the company is putting money into defensive action. In 1998, Takata spent $25,000 on lobbying, then didn't pay a cent for Beltway help again until 2012. From there it has doled out more every year: $50,000 in 2012, $80,000 in 2013, $190,000 in 2014. The firm doubled that last figure in 2015 and we're only halfway through the year.

The lead rep for Takata at Squire Patton Boggs is ex-transportation secretary Rodney Slater, who handles the transportation practice at the law firm according to Wikipedia. Other ex-government notables are ex-US senators Trent Lott and John Breaux, who were recently put in charge of reinvigorating the law firm's lobbying arm. As for Takata's own efforts, the company has publicly apologized for the situation but declined a victim's compensation fund.


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