Toyota – the world’s largest automaker – recently announced it was moving to recall almost 200,000 vehicles in Japan and China because of the Takata airbag issue.
Japan’s auto safety regulator – in light of the latest findings – has also announced it’s considering changes in its recall strategy in order to better cope with what it considers an “unprecedented” safety crisis. That’s because a new round of testing in which a model previously unrelated to the string of Takata recalls had its airbag explode when the inflator ruptured has triggered the new recall from Toyota.
Japan’s transport ministry, which also acts as the country’s auto safety regulator, gave no details about the modifications that would occur in the current recall system, but did say it was considering changes of many parts. “Changing the law would be a lot more involved, but there are things we can change outside the law,” said Masato Sahashi, leader of the ministry’s recall unit. That’s just as in the US, the auto safety regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has been constantly criticized for not reacting quickly enough to the two massive crises of the year – GM’s ignition switch recall and Takata’s airbag issues.