NHTSA seeking Takata whistleblowers to blow open airbag investigation

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is amping up its investigation into embattled Japanese parts supplier Takata, actively seeking whistleblowers that know "of possible defects or any wrongdoing" to step forward.

"We encourage all individuals with information about the manufacture or testing of Takata air bag inflators, or who have knowledge of possible defects or any wrongdoing by the company, to make this information available to NHTSA," spokesman Gordon Trowbridge told Reuters.

Based on Reuters reporting, it sounds like there are quite a few potential whistleblowers who know about the airbag issues. The outlet reports that it spoke to six former Takata employees from facilities as far flung as Washington, Georgia and Michigan, who claim they were asked to "hide or alter data," two of whom said they witnessed other employees "hiding, altering or ignoring unfavorable test results."

Considering that part of the statement Takata gave to Reuters claimed the company was "committed to working with NHTSA and our automotive customers to ensure the safety of the driving public," we imagine the possibility of a large group of whistleblowers waiting in the wings is not the kind of news the besieged airbag manufacturer is interested in hearing.

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