Takata inflator shortage could lead to a couple of years of waiting time image

Honda and the rest of the carmakers that have recalled vehicles because they were equipped with potentially defective Takata airbags have a big problem – where to find enough replacement parts.

Since 2008, millions of vehicles – and most recently more than 8 million in the US alone (since 2013) – were recalled because they were equipped with Takata Corp. produced airbags. The inflator can explode with excessive force, spraying deadly shrapnel and metal debris in the cabin as the small parts fly at high velocity. Following what has been so far a “regional” recall, the investigation undertaken by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out to a nationwide expansion of the safety campaigns.

But even if the regulators decide against such an action, Takata could need as much as two years or so to manufacture all the necessary replacement kits. Although there were rumors of Takata or the carmakers tapping other suppliers for the necessary parts, many of the parties involved warned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it might not provide immediate relief as they would need additional, lengthy testing.

Today, Japan’s Takata Corp. says it wants to upgrade the production capacity to deliver 450,000 replacement inflators per month by January, up from the current 300,000 units built monthly. But that would mean about two years to fully supply all the 10 million vehicles recalled in the United States alone – and that without counting the additional millions that would need the kits if the recall goes nationwide.

Via Automotive News