Japan’s Takata Corp., the auto safety parts supplier at the center of a global auto safety crisis is stepping up efforts to meet a massive backlog on orders for replacements for the recalled airbag inflators.
Since 2008 millions of vehicles (more than half in the US) have been recalled by ten automakers because they are equipped with airbag inflators that can explode with too much force and send shrapnel and metal debris inside the cabin at high velocity. So far, at least five fatalities and dozens of injuries have been linked to the faulty part. Now the company plans to increase the production of replacement parts by more than double to 900,000 units a month by September – as the carmakers need them to service almost 25 million vehicles. According to a company spokesperson, Takata has finished implementing the production at two new assembly lines at a factory in Monclova, Mexico. Now, current monthly production of replacement inflators has surged from 300,000 to 450,000 units.
From now on, Takata wants to keep up the expansion until it would be able to build 900,000 units a month through the company’s global network of plants – though it didn’t mention which of the factories would take charge of the increased output. The Japanese auto safety parts maker has come under massive pressure from US auto safety regulators, the automakers and its rivals to increase production quickly. Autoliv, the world’s largest airbag producer has already stepped in to profit from Takata’s trouble, announcing last month it won new contracts with different carmakers to supply up to 25 million inflators to change potentially defective airbags involved in recalls.
Via Automotive News