Since Takata has decided not to take the lead concerning potential issues with its airbag inflators, the automakers have. Perhaps that's unsurprising, since it's the automakers, not Takata, that will take a beating on the dealership floor if consumers decide its models are a health hazards. The Detroit News reports that Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Subaru met in a hotel conference room near the Detroit Metropolitan Airport last week to sort ou
Chrysler is expanding the scope of its front passenger side Takata airbag inflator recall yet again to include 139,115 additional vehicles for a total of 208,783 units now needing these parts replaced.
Earlier this week a Reuters report indicated that Mazda was considering a nationwide expansion of its recall for vehicles equipped with Takata airbag inflators. The company has now confirmed said expansion, with the vehicle count jumping from 86,770 to 330,000 affected in the US.
Vehicle recalls have come in force recently. Honda expanded its front driver's side Takata airbag inflator recall nationwide to cover an estimated 5.4-million vehicles, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration added 19 notices to its database covering safety campaigns dating back to October. It looks like there could be one more to add to the list soon because Mazda is considering a possible nationwide expansion of its own inflator repairs.
Air bag inflators could rupture when, spraying metal fragments at occupants
While Honda already announced plans to take its front driver's side Takata airbag inflator recall nationwide, the automaker has now officially reported on the number of affected vehicles and the specific models in need of repair.
The already record-breaking rate of automotive recalls this year shows no signs of slowing down, especially since millions of cars with defective airbags made by global supplier Takata are under further scrutiny.
The scope of the Takata airbag inflator recall is ballooning once again across the United States. Where Honda has elected to take its driver-side airbag campaign nationwide, Chrysler Group and Ford have now announced expanded regional actions to cover some passenger-side airbag inflators. Mazda is adding more regions, as well.
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.
Takata is fighting against US regulators over whether to expand its airbag inflator recall nationwide, but the affected automakers are continuing to broaden their own campaigns to get these vehicles fixed. Honda is the first company to take the bold move of partnering with another supplier for its replacement parts. It just announced plans to work with Autoliv to create components for models needing repaired in the US.
The Takata airbag recall is about to get a lot bigger, as the Japanese supplier is reportedly preparing to comply with an order by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to expand its region-specific recall to a nationwide campaign. According to Reuters, that will add millions of airbags to the disturbingly large supply of faulty units the company has already recalled.
Drivers in the US might be stuck with quite a wait to get their vehicles repaired under the Takata airbag inflator recall. As things stand now, the Japanese supplier could need as long as two years to produce enough replacement parts to service every affected model in America. If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is successful in making the campaign nationwide, then that timeline could grow even longer.
The impact of 2014 – henceforth known as Year of the Recalls – will have long-ranging consequences on the auto industry. One of the biggest changes, though, might not be in the way manufacturers inform the government of pending recalls or in the way Uncle Sam punishes automakers that violate its rules, but in the ability to sell cars with pending recalls. And strangely enough, the charge is being led by an automaker.