Honda, Toyota, and Mazda have all opted to drop airbag inflator supplier Takata, while other Japanese stalwarts consider a similar move.
It seems Takata has manufacturing issues beyond the technical details of its airbags. The Japanese company is not in the good graces of American authorities after declining a national recall in response to faulty airbag deployments, while authorities in Mexico are unhappy with health and safety issues at Takata's plant in Monclava, Mexico, where millions of inflators are being produced to service automaker recalls.
Honda recently started disclosing possible recalls related to airbag malfunctions in certain vehicles. The automaker is asking customers buying those used cars to sign a document that acknowledges they've been made aware of the issue. Buyers may be better informed, but such a signature could also shift liability away from the automaker.
Following the lead of Connecticut and New York, Ohio is the third state to make the knowing manufacture, import, installation or sale of counterfeit airbags a felony. Bill Am HB 177 was sponsored by Republican State Representative Dorothy Pelanda, backed by the Ohio Insurance Institute and the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association and signed into law by governor John Kasich.
Honda is in hot water due to an airbag glitch that is causing it to recall 405,400 vehicles. According to the campaign, the supplemental restraints might fire for no apparent reason. 342,000 of the affected vehicles are 2003 and 2004 Odyssey minivans, which gels with a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation we reported on in June.