Autoliv Inc., the world’s largest supplier of airbags and auto safety related products has announce it would move to produce up to 25 million replacement airbags in order to support the automakers that seek to fix recalled vehicles equipped with Takata-built components.
Japan’s Takata Corp. has been entrenched in a large series of recalls since 2008, with more than 20 million vehicles recalled so far globally – though most of them in 2013 and 2014 in the US on a regional basis. Now, the automakers are rushing to expand to nationwide levels the safety campaigns after federal regulators in the US have concluded the parts pose a threat in other regions as well. The Takata-produced airbag inflators are prone to excessive wear by age, humidity and as of now not yet identified factors that make them explode with too much force, sending metal debris and shrapnel at high velocity inside the cabin. According to a January 14 statement issued by the Stockholm-based maker of auto-safety products, Autoliv has entered negotiations to build “millions of additional units.” Additionally, it has already deals in place to increase its production capacity of inflators, starting to supply them to the carmakers this year and in 2016.
More than ten automakers, led by Japan’s third largest automaker – Honda – have recalled the vehicles worldwide after the faulty parts have been linked to four deaths in the United States and a pregnant woman in Malaysia, all in Honda group autos. The latter has also tapped Autoliv to produce the spare parts, despite being Takata’s largest client.