Airbag manufacturer Takata allegedly knew about and hid the risks of faulty airbags that have been linked to four deaths, including one in Alhambra, the The New York Times reports. The airbags contain a defect that can cause the steel canister to explode into pieces when the airbag deploys.
Former Takata employees told the Times that they conducted secret tests that revealed the rupture risks of the airbag, but that superiors ordered them to discard the findings. Takata is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and officials assert that they will fully cooperating with the investigation while attending to the needs of their customers, according to the Times.
The most recent fatality due to a faulty Takata airbag occurred on Sept. 3 in Alhambra. Rosemead resident Hai Ming Xu, 47, died in a car crash in a parking lot at Valley Boulevard and Chapel Avenue. Alhambra police told the Times they treated the case as a homicide before an autopsy report suggested that Xu's wounds were caused by metallic portions of the airbag that hit Xu's face as it deployed.