According to documents seen by Reuters, the third-largest Japanese automaker – Honda – also the biggest client for auto safety parts supplier Takata, called back into services a small batch of vehicles because of the airbags in March 2002.
Japan’s Takata Corp. and Honda – as all deaths linked to the faulty system are in the latter’s cars – have been increasingly involved in a massive worldwide recalls that has seen millions of cars called back to dealer repair shops. No less than 10 million autos have been recalled in the US alone since 2013 because of a global issue affecting ten carmakers – the airbag’s inflator can explode with excessive force and spray metal debris and shrapnel inside the cabin at high velocity.
Now, Reuters has learned that Honda called back some cars fitted with Takata produced airbags back in March 2002, which is two years before the first confirmed injury that the automaker and the parts maker have tied to the growing airbag inflator problem. Reuters found the March 2002 recall notice after searching through the US safety databases – with Honda telling the regulators that passenger airbags could have inflators that can rupture due to improper welds. Since 2008, Honda and nine other competitors have recalled 16 million cars globally and at least 10 million autos in the US because of the problem.