According to an official at Japan’s transport ministry, if in the US Takata-equipped cars were recalled on a nationwide level, Honda and Mazda would need to add another 200,000 cars to the internal safety campaign.
The US auto safety regulators have ordered Japan’s auto safety parts supplier Takata Corp. to expand a regional recall involving cars in humid regions to a nationwide level. So far, automakers, regulators and Takata itself don’t know why airbag inflators are prone to failure – they can explode with excessive force and spray the cabin with metal shards and other debris flying at high velocity. Until now, Takata has been unwilling to expand the recalls across the US, claiming it would stretch to the limit the already thin supply chain that provides replacement kits for the defective parts.
Japanese officials are also worried about the impact on the national auto industry stemming from the mounting recalls and the growing safety scandal. “Japanese manufacturing enjoys a high level of trust so I am worried this situation will shake that confidence,” commented Transport Minister Akihiro Ohta. He added that he already instructed Takata to also expand the recall in Japan if it complies to the order coming from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.