Jeffrey Smith, the spokesperson for the Japanese automaker confirmed the additional recall. The 3 million is on top of the nearly 7 million vehicles recalled by Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:HMC) in the United States since 2008 due to Takata airbags.
The inflator on the Takata airbag may rupture and shoot metal shards at drivers and passengers. The problem already caused four fatalities in Honda vehicles and 30 injuries in the United States. Most of the incidents happened in high-humidity areas like Florida.
During a hearing conducted by the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Rick Schostek, Executive Vice President of Honda North America said the company is expanding its regional safety campaign on affected driver airbag inflators to a national effort.
Schostek said, “Airbags save thousands of lives each year. But we recognize that even one customer who is injured or loses their life when an airbag does not perform as intended, is one too many, and is completely unacceptable.”
Honda is working with additional airbag inflator suppliers
According to Schostek, Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:HMC) is working with additional airbag inflator suppliers– Autoliv and Daicel to increase the availability of the replacement part. Schostek said Japanese automaker’s negotiation with its inflator suppliers have been encouraging, and will ultimately reduce the duration of any shortage.
Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:HMC) will continue to discuss with NHTSA and Takata Corporation (TYO:7312) how to best manage the supply issue. The company said it will prioritize the replacement of driver airbag inflators in highest-risk areas of the country.
Takata refused NHTSA’s demand to declare millions of airbags defective
The U.S. National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) made a formal demand to Takata Corporation (TYO:7312) to declare that millions of the diver-side airbags on vehicles it sold to automakers were defective. The agency did not seek a nationwide recall of passenger-side air bags.
Takata Corporation (TYO:7312) refused the demand citing the reason that it will cooperate and support automakers on any further recalls. The Japanese airbag maker believed that the owners of vehicles located in high-humidity areas should be prioritized to receive replacement inflators.
Takata Corporation (TYO:7312) said it would take at least 1or 2 years to produce sufficient parts even if it would accelerate its production from 300,000 to 450,000 per month on January. The company is building two additional inflator plants in Mexico.