Court documents filed Monday allege that five auto companies were aware of defects that caused Takata air bags to potentially harm or kill motorists but continued to use them anyway to save on costs.
The documents claim that Honda, Ford, BMW, Toyota and Nissan have known about the issues with the Japanese manufacturer’s air bags for more than a decade but still used them because Takata was cheaper than its competitors and could produce the bulk quantities the automakers needed, according to the court documents.
The new allegations come as Takata entered a guilty plea Monday as part of an agreement with the Department of Justice to resolve the agency’s investigation into the matter. That deal, reached last month in the final days of the Obama administration, required the company to pay $1 billion in fines and restitution to automakers and victims. In December, three Takata executives were indicted on wire fraud charges, also as part of that investigation.