Honda Motor Co. is now holding discussions with "several" airbag suppliers to allow it stock enough replacement parts for faulty Takata Corp. airbags, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, citing people with knowledge of the planning. Honda has said that it working with other suppliers was a “consideration.”
A source told the Journal that the Japanese carmaker is close to getting at least one other supplier for replacement airbags. However, doing so would mean Honda would face huge engineering hurdles. Hiroshi Shimizu, Takata's senior vice president for global quality assurance, has told United States Senate panel that the supplier might have enough capability to keep up with demand for replacement parts.
According to Reuters estimates, around 16 million cars fitted with Takata airbags have been recalled globally, of which over 10 million were in the US. According to Shimizu, even if Takata hikes production of replacement kits beyond the current monthly pace of 300,000 to 450,000, there might still not have sufficient parts.
David Friedman, deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has told the Senate committee that the agency has contacted two other suppliers to determine whether they could produce replacement parts.
Friedman also concurred with the comments made by a senator that even that the pace of 450,000 replacement parts per month, it would still take around two years to fix all of the possibly faulty airbags in recalled cars in the US.
He said that it is not easy for a supplier -- other than Takata -- to build airbags that would fit into recalled cars and “ensure they are safe."