Honda Motor Co’s President Takanobu Ito, who leads the third largest Japanese automaker, has announced that last year’s record recalls call for swift action, including the analysis of its operations to lift quality and safety standards.
Ito talked about last year’s woes in front of its supplier representatives, after Honda experienced a very hard year in the safety and quality categories. Numerous flaws besieged its latest products, including the Jazz subcompact – leading to executives taking pay cuts – and the automaker was the hardest hit by the problems experienced by its auto safety parts supplier Takata Corp. As the latter’s largest client, Honda saw massive recalls for cars equipped with Takata- produced airbags all over the world, as all fatalities occurred in cars of the Japanese automaker. Additionally and in relation to the Takata woes, Honda agreed to a record fine of $70 million in the US as it failed to promptly report accidents, deaths, injuries and customer complaints to the US safety regulator NHTSA.
Ito discussed last year’s troubles in an address to suppliers today and asked for public forgiveness for recalls and new product delays, while also vowing to increase oversight over development and called the supplier’s support. Takata Chairman Shigehisa Takada, present at the meeting commented afterwards that his company is sparing no effort to discover the root cause of the flaw that causes airbag inflators to rupture and explode with too much force, sending metal shards in to the cabin at high velocity.