TOKYO (Bloomberg) -- Takata Corp. said it tested airbags in 2004 for an issue separate from the flaw at the center of an auto-safety crisis, disputing a report by the New York Times last week.
The company conducted “urgent” airbag experiments involving a cushion-tearing issue unrelated to problems with inflators rupturing, Tokyo-based Takata said in an e-mailed statement. The results of the tests, which were conducted at the request of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, weren’t suppressed or hidden, Takata said.
“The Times article confuses multiple events occurring at different times and for different purposes and thereby tells a story that is simply untrue,” Takata said in the statement sent today by Alby Berman, a company spokesman.
Faulty Takata airbag inflators causing the safety devices to deploy with too much force have been linked to four deaths and 139 injuries, spurring the recalls of almost 8 million vehicles. The New York Times report prompted calls by U.S. senators for the Justice Department to conduct a criminal investigation.
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