Honda profit targets tumble in wake of Takata scandal

Takata's massive airbag inflator recall will likely do some damage to Honda's bottom line this year, according to the Japanese automaker's latest forecasts. The company will allocate 50 billion yen ($425 million) to fulfill costs related to the safety campaigns, Reuters indicates. The decision will reduce estimated operating profit by about 6.5 percent to 720 billion yen ($6.1 billion US) for the fiscal year ending March 31.

In addition to lower profits, Honda also cut back its sales estimate for the year to 4.45 million vehicles from the previous 4.62 million, according to Reuters. This was largely due to lower-than-expected demand in Japan. "We are not seeing a big impact on sales in North America from the airbag issue," company vice president Tetsuo Iwamura (pictured above) told Reuters.

The decreased forecasts come at the same time as the possibility of another death in a Honda vehicle from the Takata parts. According to Automotive News, a man in Florida died in a crash in his 2002 Accord, but investigators have not yet determined whether the inflator was the cause. However, the vehicle was included in a 2011 recall for the part and was not repaired. The family intends to file a lawsuit alleging the inflator ruptured, spraying metal shrapnel into the driver's neck. Reportedly, the owner was never notified of the recall.

While the Takata inflator recall is affecting many companies with alleged links to at least five deaths and 139 injuries worldwide, Honda has it among the worst. Including vehicles covered under the previous regional repair campaign for the issue, the automaker needs to repair roughly 5.4 million vehicles just in the US. Honda has taken action by employing suppliers other than Takata to supply some of its replacement parts for the recall. The business is also reportedly switching airbag suppliers for the next-gen Accord and possibly the 2016 CR-V and Odyssey.

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