The Takata crisis has particularly affected Honda which has installed millions of the suppliers products over the years

The Takata crisis has particularly affected Honda which has installed millions of the supplier's products over the years

Takata chief executive Shigehisa Takada has said an internal probe into why the supplier's airbag inflators were failing was not progressing well, as millions of cars continue to be called back to replace the potentially deadly component.

He was responding to a question at the annual shareholders' meeting on Thursday as to when analyses of the problem would be concluded, Reuters reported.

Takata's inflators have been linked to eight deaths so far, exploding with too much force and sending metal fragments into vehicle occupants.

For the majority of the tens of millions of vehicles recalled, the root cause of why the inflators can fail has not been identified despite multiple investigations under way including those commissioned collectively by 10 automakers as well as an internal probe by Takata, Reuters noted.

"The analysis isn't progressing very well," Takada told shareholders, declining to speculate on when a conclusion would be reached. It was his first public appearance since the annual shareholders' meeting a year ago.

At this year's meeting, shareholders took Takada to task for his failure to appear in public to address the issue, the slow progress in resolving the crisis and the lack of a dividend.

In response to a question about how he viewed his responsibility in the recall saga, Takada said he believed the best way forward was to carry on leading the company and see it through the crisis. He added he hoped to resume dividend payments "as soon as possible" once the crisis was resolved.

Reuters said, since the last shareholders' meeting, Takata's safety crisis has escalated into the biggest recall in automotive history, leading to a net loss last year and a 40% plunge in its share price. Takata has forecast a return to profit this year but made few provisions for the possible costs of the ballooning recalls.

In hearings in Washington, US lawmakers this week raised the possibility that Takata put profits before safety in a way that contributed to the air bag recalls. Takata has disputed the finding.