U.S. regulators prick Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata, charging the company $14,000 for each additional day it fails to fully cooperate with a probe led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

A daily pinprick of $14,000 can, however, be easily shrugged off by a company of Takata's size, so the NHTSA is also asking Congress for more power to prosecute "bad actors."

The NHTSA has been investigating Takata's defective airbags, which have been blamed in the death of six people and seen as the cause of at least 64 other injuries. The Takata airbags have been the subject of several recalls, with problems regarding underinflation and inadvertent inflation, causing millions of cars to be called back for repairs.

Anthony Foxx, U.S. transportation secretary, was wrapping up his Grow America Express bus tour when he announced the $14,000 penalty per day against Takata. Foxx said safety is a shared responsibility and that the NHTSA won't tolerate Takata's failure to cooperate with the administration's investigation.

"For each day that Takata fails to fully cooperate with our demands, we will hit them with another fine," said Foxx. "But, it's not enough. I am asking Congress to pass the Grow America Act, which would provide the tools and resources needed to change the culture of safety for bad actors like Takata."

The NHTSA is fining Takata for two infractions, and those fines are each capped at $35 million, which could see the airbag manufacturer paying $70 million over the course of about a year and a half. Takata could simply absorb those fines and refuse to further cooperate with the NHTSA, which is why the administration is seeking more power from Congress.

To put the NHTSA's possible $70 million in fines into perspective, Takata reported net losses of about 32.4 billion yen (roughly $271 million in current  conversion rates)  in the nine-month period ending Dec. 31, 2014.

In 2014, the NHTSA issued two special orders to Takata that called for the airbag manufacturer to release documentation and supporting material that would help the administration investigate the product failures.

In its response to the NHTSA's fine, Takata said it has being co-operating with the NHTSA and submitted all of the documents the administration requested.

"We are surprised and disappointed by the DOT/NHTSA letter and press release today, and we strongly disagree with their characterization that we have not been fully cooperating with them," stated Takata in a letter to the NHTSA. "In response to NHTSA's Special Orders, we have provided the agency with almost 2.5 million pages of documents to date."

Although the NHTSA said it received the documentation from Takata, regulators have asserted that approximately 2.5 million pages arrived without an index or any other material to serve as a guide for the mass of reports.

"We continue to keep NHTSA closely informed on the extensive testing efforts we have undertaken," stated Takata. "That work has, so far, supported our initial view that age and sustained exposure to heat and humidity is a common factor in the small number of inflators that have malfunctioned."

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