The Nikkei business daily has reported that later on today the auto safety supplier Takata Corp will respond positively to a US regulator order to expand to nationwide level what was still a region-specific recall.
Since 2008 (and in the US since 2013, around 10 million autos) millions of vehicles globally have been recalled by ten automakers because they are equipped with Takata-produced airbags. The airbag’s inflator can explode with too much force and sends shrapnel and metal debris flying inside the cabin at high velocity. Five deaths have been tied to the faulty parts around the world – four in the United States and one in Malaysia (a pregnant woman that died, the baby was not saved either) – all in Honda-produced vehicles. Believed to favor the defect, so far the safety campaigns in the US only encompassed humid regions and territories.
But last week the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked Takata Corp. – supplier of around one fifth of the world’s airbags – to finally acknowledge (the parts maker and automakers said it’s not a defect, just a preemptive campaign) the airbags are defective and embark on a national recall in the US. The Nikkei now reports the company is ready to expand the ‘investigative’ recall into a fully fledged safety campaign – complying later on today with the NHTSA deadline.