Honda, Daihatsu add 5 million vehicles to Takata airbag recalls

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 21, 2015

Only one day after Toyota and Nissan issued a recall of 6.5 million vehicles worldwide, there was a further expansion of the safety campaign related to defective airbags from Takata. This time, Honda is recalling about 4.89 million vehicles and Daihatsu said that about 260,000 units are affected.

If you own a Honda unit in the U.S. or Canada, you’re not part of the recall since the vehicles sold in these markets didn’t have the potentially defective airbags targeted in the latest recall. Instead, Honda’s recall affects about 1.7 million units in Japan that were built from 2002 to 2008.

The nameplates covered by the recall were produced in the U.S., Japan, and Thailand. The rest of the recalls are from the other regions. Honda said that the breakdowns of the regions will be announced locally. Meanwhile, the recall of Daihatsu-brand covers only cars built in Japan.

Reuters estimated that there have now been a total of 36 million vehicles recalled around the world since 2008 because of these Takata inflators. Honda spokeswoman Yuka Abe said that of the total figure, about 19.6 million vehicles are Honda units. Of this number, 8.2 million are in the U.S.

There have been no reports of injuries or deaths as a result of defective airbags, according to Honda and Daihatsu. Automakers are recalling additional cars after the investigations revealed that certain inflators may fail because of moisture damage over time and they may rupture as a result.

Honda explained that it has issued the recall in response to the outcome of a study conducted last March by Takata Corp. These airbag inflators are in danger of exploding and hitting its passengers with metal shards. According to Mazda Motor Corp., an investigation has been started to determine if it has to announce a similar recall.

So far, Mitsubishi and Fuji Heavy Industries (which makes Subaru vehicles) have not commented on whether they have vehicles covered by this recall. The study that had been independently conducted by Takata indicated that the inflator’s propellant may lose density over time due to moisture intrusion and this increases the risk of a rupture.

Honda said that its engineers are continuing to determine the root cause and that so far, there are no findings yet. Honda’s Abe said that Honda came to the results in March but it only acted in May since it took time to check the number of cars affected and where these were sold. Honda said that inflators from Autoliv and Daicel will replace the driver-side inflators that Takata built.

Furthermore, the inflators on the passenger side built by Takata will be swapped with those built by Daicel and Takata. Abe explained that Honda decided to get this equipment from sources that can provide the replacement fast.

He said that it didn’t go to Takata’s rivals due to doubts about quality. Daihatsu will also be using new inflators from Takata to replace the ones covered in the recall. Toyota will be using new inflators built by Daicel on the driver-side since the delivery is quicker. Meanwhile, Takata equipment will also be used for the passenger side.

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