While the country is home to Takata Corp., the safety auto parts producer at the heart of a global safety crisis, Japan could actually be hit by a shortfall in the supply of replacement airbag kits.
The country has seen carmakers that were Takata clients recall 9.8 million autos as they seek to mitigate the risk of having inside potentially flawed devices made by Takata, said the Japanese transport ministry. Toyota, Honda and Nissan are among the local manufacturers that have increased the recall rates as a precautionary measure at home after in the US the supplier agreed to comply with a regulatory order to widen the safety campaigns. The string of preventive measures has added around 7.3 million cars to the tally, with companies still en route to fix the older vehicles and addressing first the ones believed to pose the highest level of threat, according to Masato Sahashi, director of the recall enforcement office at Japan’s transport ministry. “If we include the preemptive recalls, we are unable to secure all the replacement parts necessary,” commented Sahashi in a recent interview in Tokyo. “We may be facing a shortage of replacement kits down the road.”
Takata Corp. has reported to the US auto safety regulators it was actually dependant on three main rivals to manufacture the majority of millions of replacement kits. Since 2008 Takata has been recalling millions of vehicles worldwide because its airbag inflators can explode with too much force and rupture during deployment, sending metal debris inside the cabin at high velocity.