A senior Toyota official has expressed support for the Japanese auto parts supplier Takata, involved in a massive debacle over the production of airbags that inflate with too much force.
US safety regulator NHTSA just increased the number of vehicles affected to recalls in connection to Takata airbags by 28% to 7.8 million autos after previously urging owners of affected cars to undertake the necessary measures for the defective parts to be replaced. Over the past few years (Honda for example has had such issues since 2008), several automakers have recalled millions of cars because the airbag inflators can explode with too much force and send shrapnel inside the cabin.
Steve St. Angelo, Toyota’s Latin American operations boss, voiced his support for Takata as a supplier, saying the world’s largest carmaker has no plans to drop the supplier – even as the recall tally continues to mount.
“When you become one of our suppliers, you really become part of our family,” he told reporters during an unrelated Tokyo event. “Toyota’s not one to just dump a supplier,” he added. “Have we ever eliminated a supplier? Yes. But it’s really, really tough. We will exhaust every opportunity to help that supplier first.”
Data from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that Toyota is second to Honda when it comes to the number of vehicles affected by the airbag recall – at 877,000 units.