According to company sources that have knowledge of the carmaker’s strategy, Japan’s third largest automaker, Honda Motor, has decided against using airbags from the crisis-stricken Takata Corp for the upcoming North American revision of the Accord sedan.
This is the automaker’s top-selling model and it seems the company is trying to play “safe” (pun intended) when it comes to the airbag supplier. Honda has been Takata Corp.’s largest client, but the Japanese supplier has been battling in recent years with huge recalls over defective airbag inflators, that can rupture and explode with too much force, sending shrapnel at high velocity inside the cabin. All five reported deaths that have been linked with the flaw happened in Honda vehicles, although the recalls involve a total of ten auto producers.
If the report pans out, Honda’s decision to use a competitor of embattled Takata would be the first important defection since the Takata safety crisis started, as the automaker has chosen instead Toyoda Gosei-produced airbags for the all-new Accord, set for a sales release in August 2017, according to the Reuters’ sources. Dealing a major blow to the supplier that has caused recalls covering 21 million cars globally since 2008, Honda has asked Toyoda Gosei to deliver driver’s-side, knee and curtain airbags for the North American variant of the Accord, told Reuters’ the insiders. The Japanese automaker has recalled at least 13 million units since 2008 because of the Takata flaw, with more than 10 million vehicles being in the United States. Last month the automaker announced that replacement parts would be also provided by Autoliv.