General Motors, the actor behind this year’s first major auto safety crisis, seems to have learned its lesson and according to the company it has set up in place a contingency plan in case Japan’s Takata widens the lethal airbag recalls.
The No. 1 US automaker has already gone through the ordeal of having to repair millions of vehicles, following the slip on its safety approach and the ignition switch debacle. Because it could be forced to issue safety campaigns for millions of other vehicles, stemming from the Takata crisis, the company has made sure it can repair all the affected cars if the potentially fatal Takata-made airbag inflator crisis explodes. “Basically, we bought an insurance policy so that the capacity is there if we need it,” said to Reuters GM spokesman James Cain. “We don’t want to be caught short-handed.”
Since 2008, because of the defective Takata-produced airbag inflators, which can explode with too much force and send metal shrapnel flying at high velocity inside the cabin, at least 21 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide. The No.1 US automaker’s plans include making Takata share with its TRW and Autoliv competitors the carmaker’s airbag specifications and data- making sure the latter could produce the necessary replacement parts, if needed.