As Key Safety Systems’ (KSS) purchase of much of Takata progresses, automakers continue to announce recalls of the supplier’s airbags. The latest just this month include Ford, Mazda, Honda’s and Toyota’s US units and Honda Cars India.
Michigan based KSS itself has just named Robert Weiss senior vice president, general counsel where his 30 years of legal experience within the global automotive sector, including chairing the commercial, bankruptcy and reorganisation Group of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn, focusing on representing of OEMs and Tier One suppliers, is sure to be useful as the company navigates through Takata bankruptcy court proceedings in Japan and the US.
“Completing the merger is intended to solve many challenges including the continuation of the supply of Takata recall replacement to enhance public safety,” KSS said in a statement announcing Weiss’ appointment.
“As agreed by the US Department of Justice and Takata, proceeds from the sale will be contributed to form a compensation fund for victims of faulty Takata airbags. The merger provides a future for Takata’s workforce, which totals more than 2,400 in the US and roughly 45,000 worldwide.”
Meanwhile, the recalls continue.
This month, Toyota Motor North America said it was expanding its recall involving Takata front passenger air bag inflators which involves approximately 601,300 additional vehicles in the US.
Honda’s US unit said it was adding around 465,000 vehicles to its airbag recall in the third phase of planned recalls announced by NHTSA in May 2016 and based on recent defect information reports from supplier Takata.
Honda said it would recall covering approximately 717,000 Honda and Acura cars to replace passenger front airbag inflators that do not contain a moisture absorbing desiccant. Excluding vehicles subject to the earlier Takata airbag inflator recalls, approximately 465,000 additional Honda and Acura vehicles in the US will become subject to recall for the first time as a result of this action.
Honda said it had adequate replacement part supplies to repair all vehicles currently under recall in the US.
Meanwhile, NHTSA echoed an urgent warning from Ford to take immediate action over a recall affecting pickup trucks. Ford had issued a warning that some recalled model year 2006 Rangers with defective Takata air bags were “an immediate risk to safety” and urged owners “not to drive these vehicles and to contact Ford immediately to schedule a free repair”. Ford even announced it would send mobile repair teams to owners’ homes, tow vehicles to a local dealership for repair, and provide loaner vehicles – all free of charge.
Honda Cars India said it would replace Takata passenger front airbag inflators in 22,834 vehicles – 2013 Accord, City and Jazz models as part of the automaker’s ‘precautionary global recall campaign’ concerning Takata front airbag inflators.
Replacement at dealerships across India started in phases from 19 January.
Ford has extended its recalls as part of the third planned expansion of vehicles included in Takata airbag inflator recalls described in NHTSA’s Takata Coordinated Remedy Order. The automaker said it expanded the recall for vehicles with certain passenger frontal airbag inflators after Takata declared those inflators defective. The move primarily is a planned expansion of previously recalled vehicles to new geographic regions.
Affected vehicles include approximately 365,000 2009-10 and 2013 Ford Mustang, 2009-10 Ford Fusion, 2009-10 Ford Ranger, 2009-10 Ford Edge, 2009-10 Lincoln MKZ, 2009-10 Lincoln MKX and 2009-10 Mercury Milan vehicles built in North America.
“Ford is not aware of any injuries associated with the passenger side frontal inflators included in this safety recall,” it said in a statement.
Approximately 364,523 vehicles have been added globally to this expansion, including 327,796 in the US and federalised territories and 36,727 in Canada.
Dealers will replace the passenger frontal airbag inflator or module.
The Takata airbag recall expanded this week to include almost 3,000 Ford Rangers.
Ford also announced a recall for 2,902 model year 2006 Rangers in North America. The automaker has reported two fatalities related to this recall and told owners to stop driving any model year 2006 Ranger vehicle built at the Twin Cities Assembly Plant immediately and have the vehicle repaired.
Consequently, Mazda’s US unit announced two new recalls for its Ford-built B-Series truck with Takata airbag inflators.
It said a separate group of 2006 model year vehicles had been identified as containing Takata driver side frontal air bags that showed a far higher risk of ruptures during air bag deployment than for other recalled Takata air bags. As with the equivalent 2006 Ranger, the recall is a “stop drive” notification to affected owners because the driver side frontal air bag inflator could rupture if the vehicle is involved in a crash where the frontal air bags are designed to deploy.
It noted two inflators built by Takata on the same day had ruptured, causing fatal injuries in Ford’s 2006 Ranger. The 2006 B-series are a rebadge of the Ranger, hence Mazda’s recall.
A separate recall covers the passenger frontal air bag inflator and, though it has asked owners not to drive their vehicles until the inflators are replaced, Mazda said there had been no reports of accidents or injuries. Only 160 trucks are affected.
See also: Takata’s airbag woes