Well, here's at least one story about the auto parts industry that doesn't have to do with bankruptcy or labor turmoil, although we're not sure that it represents an improvement in mood. Takata, a privately-owned company that provides inflatable restraints to the auto industry, suffered a series of explosions that ripped through its Mexican propellant storage facility last week. The four blasts were mostly contained by the dirt berms that surround the building, and no injuries or deaths were caused by the blasts-- but Takata's nearby assembly plant was severely damaged.

Takata supplies the six largest auto manufacturers here in the US, but its customers have not yet been affected. At least one unnamed competitor has stepped up to offer its assistance, and for the time being, no disruption of vehicle production is expected.

The incident is the second serious recent problem for the restraint manufacturer. Last month, a worker at the company's San Antonio seatbelt plant was killed due to a malfunction with a piece of metal plating equipment.

*updated @ 3:07pm EST w/new free link

[Source: Automotive News, San Antonio Express-News]