akata’s Reputation on the line

Can you help me understand this Communications question?

Discussion Topic: Determining the Discussion Question

  • Use “Takata’s Reputation on the line” from the textbook (Adams & Galanes, 2018, p. 200).


Adams, K. L., & Galanes, G. J. (2018) Communicating in groups: Applications and skills (10th ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Takata, a Japanese supplier, makes many of the airbags used in nearly two dozen car brands in the United States. The airbags may spontaneously inflate, sending shrapnel into the car’s interior. Takata accepted fault in 2013, but claimed that only six makes were involved. However, a New York Times article in 2014 reported 139 injuries, including two deaths, from all automakers. At first, Takata said that its propellants were improperly handled and caused the airbags to burst. But later reports revealed long-standing problems with unacceptable defect rates at some plants and propellant problems. The Times article alleged that Takata knew about the defects as early as 2004, conducted secret tests to understand the problem, and later destroyed the data and physical evidence. It took Takata four years to acknowledge the problem. Takata called the Times article inaccurate, but as of 2015, had recalled 34 million vehicles . . . . Now, Takata’s reputation has taken a hit. Think of yourself as a small crisis management team hired to help Takata restore its reputation. Conduct an analysis of the problem, using the following blog post by Clifford Atiyeh and Rusty Blackwell in Car and Driver: “Massive Takata Airbag Recall: Everything You Need to Know, Including Full List of Affected Vehicles,” June 10, 2016: http://blog.caranddriver.com/massive-takata-airbag-recall-everything-you-need-to-know-including-full-list-of-affected-vehicles/.

1. Identify the elements of this problem: the undesirable existing situation, goal, and obstacles.

2. Craft a clear discussion question to focus your problem-solving process.

3. Using Table 8.2 as your guide, evaluate Takata’s problem in terms of each characteristic:

Task difficulty: high, medium, or low? Why?
Solution multiplicity: high, medium, or low? Why?
Intrinsic interest: high, medium, or low? Why?
Member familiarity: high, medium, or low? Why?
Acceptance level: high, medium, or low? Why?

Just do response each posted # 1 to 3 down below only.

Posted 1


It seems as if Takata still hasn’t taken full responsibility for all the vehicles that have their airbags installed in them.” Takata accepted fault in 2013, but claimed that only six makes were involved. However, a New York Times article in 2014 reported 139 injuries, including two deaths, from all automakers. At first, Takata said that its propellants were improperly handled and caused the airbags to burst. But later reports revealed long-standing problems with unacceptable defect rates at some plants and propellant problems”. (Adams & Galanes)

The problem is that Takata needs to accept responsibility for their airbags on every vehicle that has their airbags installed in them. The goal should be to send recall notices out to every owner of a vehicle with that airbag. Many lives are potentially at stake everyday because of the airbags spontaneously inflate problems. It won’t be an easy venture to get every vehicle in to get fixed, and the article states that fixing the problem on older vehicles would be a challenge. If the problem can’t be fixed by the mechanics, then Takata should offer credit to the owner of the vehicle to get another vehicle that is safe. Now, this could financially ruin Takata to offer cash credit, however, they are being held accountable and getting sued already and if more accidents happen their company will be in financial ruins anyways. Takata needs to do the morale thing and help consumers with the older vehicles that the airbags can’t be fixed. In order to restore their reputation, they need to accept responsibility and make this problem right by ensuring that the public is safe in the vehicles with their airbags.

“Takata admitted it built nearly 4.5 million faulty inflators in total and that many of the inflators are now in vehicles long out of service. The 1.4 million inflators are only an estimate and could easily grow in number. The challenge of replacing roughly 56 million inflators has proven to be formidable, as 15.9 million defective airbags remain on the road, according to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report”. (Atiyeh & Blackwell) There seems to be conflicting reports between Takata, the newspaper articles and the blog posts. Takata just needs to own up to the fact that every vehicle that has their airbag could be at risk. To save their public image, they need to put the people’s safety first and stop trying to cover up the real truth.

Wouldn’t you be scared to drive in a vehicle that you knew has an airbag from Takata? What if you take the vehicle in to get the airbag fixed and they say it can’t be fixed? If that is the case, the problem will never be fixed, and the owner of the vehicle can never feel safe driving in the vehicle every day.

Posted 2

Hello Class and Professor,

After reading “Takata’s Reputation on the line” it is apparent that there is a very big issue on the hands of the company Takata. If this concern is not handled appropriately it could be detrimental to their business. The discussion question is, what obstacles could Takata face in trying to correct the problem and gain the trust of their customers back?

Well, Takata will need to notify their customers and get their vehicles back to the shops to be fixed before there is another incident that occurs. The obstacles that the company may face in accomplishing their goal are that the customers may not be reachable, customers may not get into the shop timely, and customers may not be able to be convinced that this this type of thing will not happen again.

These obstacles are ones that could have a heavy impact on the success of the company and as I stated if the company does not handle the situation with care and customer satisfaction in mind their business could start to tank. Even if the business handles this situation perfectly, the company will most likely need to prepare for their financial situation of correcting these issues with the airbags.

Posted 3


After reading our discussion scenario for this week, it really hits home with most people each day. I drive my vehicle everyday as my main transportation to work and children to school. Thinking that something like this has happened and could happen to my family is a little scary. The element I see that is the problem, is quality control. The existing situation is that there are vehicles that are equipped with faulty airbags. The Goal is to correct the problem, recall the equipment and replace all bad parts. There could be many obstacles ahead of Takata, I see two main obstacles. The first is getting the vehicle in, to get the parts changed out. The second is funding, for this will all be money out of Takata’s bank just to correct the problem.

Guys we need to look at what we can do to resolve this problem. We need each of you to put your thinking caps on and come up with some solutions. Our name and brand will be taking a hit on this and we need to resolve the problem to ensure the safety of our customers. What Quality measure can we implement to ensure this problem does not happen again? We will be focusing on a continuous improvement strategy, any thoughts will be greatly helpful.

This will be a high difficulty task, we will be meeting each week and twice every odd week of the month. We will have to map our problem out and as we complete each task we will take it off the board. Once everyone has brainstormed we will post the implementation plan for all to see. This will be a complicated task due to the fact it is a safety issue for our customers.

The solution multiplicity is medium, all together there are only a couple ways to fix this problem. Recall the product and replace, or send part to customer. This makes it medium just because there are not that many different way to go about the solution.

Intrinsic interest will be low, for the team we need to get the problem fixed therefore they will be interested. If we are not able to come up with a solution, this will cost everyone their jobs. Our company will not be able to continue building airbags if no one will buy them.

Member familiarity will be medium, all members of the team are part of the company and work with the product. They have not had this issue before, but have worked with many recalls before.

Acceptance level is low, all will be on-board to correct our problem and show our customers that we will correct any defective product. Each member of this team is affected the success of the solution to the situation.

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