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JAPAN: Honda and Nissan widen Takata airbag recalls

By Graeme Roberts | 11 December 2014

Both Honda and Nissan have widened recalls of Takata airbag-equipped cars to include more models sold in Japan following a scrapyard inflator rupture there

Both Honda and Nissan have widened recalls of Takata airbag-equipped cars to include more models sold in Japan following a scrapyard inflator rupture there

Honda and Nissan Motor have now followed Toyota in widening global air bag recalls after one of the devices made by Takata ruptured in a scrapped car in Japan.

According to a Bloomberg News report, Honda would recall about 400,000 more vehicles including the Fit [aka Jazz], while Nissan would replace air bags in about 152,000 cars such as the Presage MPV. Both of the expansions exclude vehicles added to US safety campaigns.

The latest recalls will add to the over 13m cars Honda has so far recalled worldwide to replace Takata air bags with inflators that can deploy with too much force and fire metal fragments at vehicle occupants. Honda has asked two alternative suppliers to make replacement inflators after Takata devices were linked to four deaths in the US plus the death of a pregnant woman and her unborn child in Malaysia.

Mamoru Nishimura, a transportation ministry official, told Bloomberg the latest Honda and Nissan’s recalls on Thursday (11 December) followed an air bag rupture in a [Japanese domestic market] 2003 Toyota Will Cypha that shattered the car’s windscreen during dismantling at a scrapyard in Japan’s central Gifu prefecture last month.

The news agency said Toyota is still examining the cause but carmakers have decided to recall the vehicles to make sure similar incidents won’t occur with vehicles in use. Toyota said last week it would call back about 190,000 cars in Japan and China, including the Corolla.

Spokeswoman Akemi Ando told Bloomberg today in Tokyo Honda would bear the costs for precautionary recalls and is determining the size of the loss provision it will need to book as a result, Daicel and Autoliv would both begin to supply replacement inflators to Honda within about six months, she added.

The report noted the air bag in the Toyota was the seventh to have ruptured at scrapyards in Japan since June 2012 where 350,000 of the devices made by Takata are evaluated and recycled every year, according to the transport ministry. The previous six ruptures - four in Fits and two in Corollas - were reported in summer 2012 and led to an additional 3m vehicles being recalled globally.

Honda and other carmakers have widened recalls after Takata resisted expanding some regional US campaigns. Honda has voluntarily recalled the affected driver side air bags globally, while Mazda said it was considering similar actions, Bloomberg noted.

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