New Mexico targets Takata, auto makers over faulty air bags

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico has announced a lawsuit against Japanese manufacturer Takata and a long list of auto makers in connection with the sale of cars with dangerous air bag inflators.

Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office argues that the manufacturers had a duty to ensure their products were safe and that concealment of air bag defects amounted to unfair, deceptive and unconscionable trade practices under New Mexico law.

The state said Friday it will seek civil penalties for each defective air bag that entered the New Mexico market and penalties for each day the manufacturers misrepresented the safety of their products.

Takata earlier this month agreed to pay $1 billion in fines and restitution over the defective inflators as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. Hawaii also has sued, but New Mexico’s case spreads the blame to numerous auto makers that used the faulty bags.

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