Automakers Select Orbital ATK to Lead Independent Review of Takata Airbag Inflators

Orbital ATK to spearhead industry-wide testing initiative

Former NHTSA Acting Administrator David Kelly to serve as project manager and coordinator for automaker group

WASHINGTON--()--Ten automakers today announced the selection of Orbital ATK to conduct independent testing on Takata airbag inflators. In addition, Former NHTSA Acting Administrator David Kelly was named project manager and coordinator of this testing initiative.

“We look forward to providing a detailed technical analysis in support of enhanced public safety.”

The automakers, including BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota, are participating in an industry-wide testing initiative designed to help address customer concerns about safety by supplementing current airbag inflator testing being undertaken by Takata. While the specific issues facing each company may vary depending on the inflator model, the affected automakers are committed to working together to find the root cause of the ruptures in Takata inflators.

In a joint statement, the automakers said, “Orbital ATK is one of the world’s leading engineering firms, and we are confident that their extensive expertise will help speed and advance the ongoing technical investigation of Takata airbag inflators. This selection, along with David Kelly, represents an important step forward in our industry-wide effort. We look forward to the results of this testing process as we continue to focus on the safety, security and peace of mind of our customers.”

Following today’s announcement, Orbital ATK will lead overall engineering research into the issues surrounding Takata airbag inflators. Kelly will serve as project manager and coordinator for the automakers, directing the research program and acting as primary contact for media and other public requests.

“Orbital ATK brings to this investigation more than 60 years of experience in energetic materials, propulsion technology and failure analyses on energetic systems,” said Charlie Precourt, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division. “We look forward to providing a detailed technical analysis in support of enhanced public safety.”

About Orbital ATK

Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies. The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs more than 12,000 people in 20 states across the U.S. and in several international locations. For more information, visit

About David Kelly

David Kelly is the Principal and CEO of Storm King Strategies (SKS), a strategic affairs and advocacy firm in Washington, DC. He is a national expert on transportation safety and the former Acting Administrator and Chief of Staff for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). He was instrumental in executing proven traffic safety strategies to increase safety belt use, decrease drunk driving and motorcycle fatalities, and mobilize law enforcement. Kelly also provided counsel and direction during the development of Agency rulemakings on vehicle safety and fuel economy before giving final approval. Prior to his tenure at NHTSA, Kelly served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Government Affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) under Secretary Norman Y. Mineta.


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