Ford has decided to join the long list of automakers who dropped Takata as their airbag supplier, thus pushing the Japanese company in a deeper crisis.
Ford has been forced to recall 1,509,535 cars so far fitted with certain Takata inflators after the Japanese auto supplier declared those airbags to be defective. But “defective” is at least an understatement, as those airbags can explode with too much force, throwing shrapnel or other parts into the cabin, killing at least eight people worldwide and hundreds being injured. So, Ford has decided not to use ammonium nitrate inflators from Takata anymore for future cars, trucks or SUVs that are under development. The statement was made by company’s spokeswoman Kelli Felker.
After Honda, Toyota and Nissan, Ford is the fourth automaker who decided not to fit its cars with airbags from this supplier, but will continue to buy other safety products from Takata. Twelve automakers have recalled 19.2 million vehicles in the US to replace defective inflators. Other major carmakers as Fiat Chrysler or GM did not want to say if they continue to collaborate with Takata.
But the problem with this supplier appears to be more serious, as The New York Times has published a report suggesting that Takata were aware about the airbag issues since 2004 and conducted some tests. But instead of notifying the authorities and trying to find a proper solution, Takata executives ordered its engineers to destroy the data and dispose of the physical evidence, according to the newspaper. This occurred a full four years before Takata publicly acknowledged the problem.